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Sales Articles

8 Habits of Highly Effective Sales People
4 G Selling – How to Use and Leverage Social Media Marketing for Sales Success
Twitter For Business – Five Chirpy Tips To Success
How to Stay Positive in a Negative World
5 Ways to Stay Connected in a Wired World
From Good to Great – 5 Steps to Motivational Excellence
How to Awaken The Motivational Giant Within
In Search Of Motivational Excellence
The Sales Tipping Point
The Law of Large Numbers- 7 Steps to a Robust Sales Funnel
The 7 Irrefutable Laws of Sales Success
Sales 2.0- The New Contact Sport
How to Rightsize and Cost-Size your Sales Organization by Following a Well-Defined Sales Process

How to Predict Positive Sales Outcomes Through the Use of CRM
How to Master the Art and Science of Consultative Selling!
5 Sales Strategies to Improve Sales Effectiveness
Building Your Own Brand for Baby Boomers- Utilizing Outlets on the Internet
How to Leverage Facebook for Sales & Marketing Success
The Tweet Tweet Success of Twitter
Why Sales Training is Essential
Winning the Sales Race through Sales Coaching
Sales Negotiation Skills
Sales 2.0 – The New Contact Sport
Dinosaur Selling – Are Your Sales Skills Extinct or Evolving?
Don’t Eat Alone – How to Leverage Down Time into Productive Selling Time
How to Leverage LinkedIn for Sales Success
How to Supercharge Your Sales Skills for Sales Success
Relationship Selling – How to Network for Sales Success
Sales Economics 101 – Are you a keeper?
Sales is the Highest Paying Hard Work and the Lowest Paying Easy Work – 5 Steps to Creating a Six Figure Income
Sales 2.0 – The Next Sales Frontier
Selling in a Recession – 5 Steps for Sales Survival
Stop Whining and Start Selling – How to Stay Positive in a Negative World
The Global War on Sales Talent – How to Hire and Retain Great Sales Talent.Sales Dashboard
Sales Dashboard – What Real-Time Data Sales Managers Need To Manage
How To Write Winning Value Propositions With Quantifiable Hard Dollar Figures To Win A Sale
Five Steps for Sales Success in a Slow Economy
How to Find and Hire Great Sales People – 5 Steps for Staffing Success
5 Steps to a Robust Sales Pipeline
How to Create a Motivational Environment for Sales Success
Prioritizing Sales Activities – The Key To Sales Success

How to Motivate and Coach a Winning Sales Team
Successful Telephone Selling Techniques
The Fundamentals of Sales Management
The Principles of Professional Selling
Why Build a Qualified Sales Pipeline
How Sales Process Improvement Can Help to Increase Margins and Revenue Growth!
How Quality in a Sales Process Improves Sales

How Sales Training Consultants Empower Sales Forces
How to Define A Sales Process for Sales Success
Sales Training and Coaching – The Why Behind the How!
How Asking For Referrals Can Increase Your Sales Effectiveness By 25%Speed Selling
Speed Selling

How to Anticipate & Handle Objections with Confidence
How the Qualification Process and Asking the Right Questions will Help You to Make More Sales

How to use Creative Prospecting Techniques for Sales success
How Trial Closing and Closing Techniques can Save You Time and Help You to Make more Sales

Using Testimonial Letters to Increase Sales
Don‟t have a Sales Manager – Hire a Sales Training Consultant to Help Increase Sales
How Hiring a Sales Training Specialist can Jump Start Your Bottom line Profits
How to Give an Effective Sales Presentation
How to Use the Internet and Search Engines to Research Prospects to Make More Sales
How to Use Time Management to Become a More Successful Sales Professional

8 Habits of Highly Effective Sales People

By Doug Dvorak

The dictionary defines effective as ‘exerting influence’ or ‘capable of having a striking effect’. Almost all great Sales People fall into this category. What does it take to be highly effective? Is it the same as being efficient? Many of us find that though we are the latter, our efforts are hardly recognized. So, if you have been struggling to become effective, here is a list of habits that you may consider imbibing.

The 8 Habits of Highly Effective Sales People

Sales People who are highly effective have certain qualities that are common. Here are a few you could cultivate:

Be proactive : Stephen R. Covey, in his highly influential bestseller ‘The 7 habits of Highly Effective People’, outlines the habits of such People. Being proactive tops the list. Whether it was Gandhi or Victor Frankl, who defied the horror of the Nazi death camps to become a great psychiatrist, effective Sales People are undaunted by their environment. They decide the path they will take and follow it no matter what.

Focus on the goal : Whether it was Mother Teresa or Martin Luther King, they all started out with a goal. What is it that you wish to achieve in 10 or 20 years? Effective Sales People have a goal before they start out. Once you are clear about the destination, you can build the steps you need to get there.

Concentrate on the here and now : Effective Sales People have the habit of starting from where they are from the moment they have set their goals. Gandhi may have gone on to lead a nation to freedom, but he started out by realizing his ideals among a few Indians on a farm in South Africa. Effective Sales People know the importance of putting first things first.

Focus on the greatest good : An important habit that goes much against effectiveness is the general tendency to think only of one’s own victory or success. Effective Sales People think of change not just for themselves but for all their fellowmen in similar circumstances.

Stress on communication : All effective Sales People are great communicators, which includes being a good orator as well as a good listener. Covey referred to this as ‘seek to understand, then to be understood.’ Listen with empathy and note not just the meaning of the words but also the feeling underlying them.

Constant self renewal : Covey used the words ‘sharpen the saw’ to define this habit. A process of renewal and rejuvenation that nourishes your mental, physical and emotional powers is a must if you want to be effective. How can you have an impact if you yourself are tired and worn out?

Respect for all : The ability to synergize is the universally acknowledged habit that all effective Sales People had. It means to incorporate each individual into the whole without losing sight of their individual differences.

Go to the root cause : If you wish to be effective you have to ask the question ‘Why?’- not just once, but many times. Only then can you come to the root cause. Without uprooting this, you will find that the same problems recur.

Reflect on yourself and cultivate these habits to make yourself a highly effective person.

Resource:

Know more about the innovative and inventive world of Social Media and the wonders it can do to your business. Download an entire chapter of Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success by Doug Dvorak
– CEO Digital Marketing Group & Milind Mody – CEO eBrandz.

About the Author:

I am actively involved in social media marketing and also write for the same. The book – “Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success” has helped me get a detailed insight about the growing need of social media in today’s net-savvy world. This book is a must-read for people who want to win business and build concrete network through social media.

Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2010 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

4G Selling – How to Use and Leverage Social Media

Marketing for Sales Success

By Doug Dvorak

In a study conducted by SocialMediaToday, 28% of the US adult population credited social media sites as a reliable source of information for their buying decisions. The same study reported that 70% of the businessmen planned to initiate new social media campaigns to boost their sales in 2010. Another set of mindboggling social media statistics as revealed by Econsultancy says that:

  • Facebook has above 400 million users, 75% of whom remain active each day.
  • An average user on Facebook has 130 online friends.
  • More than 0.7 million local businesses have their profile on Facebook.
  • Twitter has around 75 million user accounts and one third of them are active on a regular basis.
  • 1.3 million tweets are put up per hour on Twitter.
  • There are approximately 50 million accounts on Linkedln on a global basis.
  • Nearly 38% of the people post online product reviews regularly.

Tips for Leveraging Social Media

This is a fast paced world and you cannot afford to lag behind. Therefore, it is crucial to capitalize on social media to help you in your viral business campaign. Follow these tips to achieve this objective:

  • Find out which social site is useful for your business needs. For example, Facebook is useful for Business to Retail (B2R) and Linkedln for Business to Business (B2B).
  • Add new potential customers to your accounts on these sites.
  • Update your tweets regularly with links to the articles and blogs for your business.
  • Monitor your traffic and rankings each day. For this, you can download free online toolbars.

How to Begin Your Marketing Plan

If you aim at developing a relationship with people in your target market, you have to build a careful marketing strategy. Ask the following questions to yourself, the answers of which can be really helpful for you to develop a plan:

  • Who is your target market (age group, gender, profession)?
  • Where to find them (Facebook, Linkedln, Boomer)?
  • What type of products and services do they like?
  • What benefits are you offering them (your unique selling point)?
  • What keywords do they use to search for the kind of services you offer?

The right social media marketing service provider is vital when it comes to helping your business grow in this tech savvy world. Operational for more than 25 years, the Sales Coaching Institute offers you time-tested and extremely effective marketing services. For more information about the company, visit www.salescoach.us.

Resource:

Know more about the innovative and inventive world of Social Media and the wonders it can do to your business. Download an entire chapter of Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success by Doug Dvorak – CEO Digital Marketing Group & Milind Mody – CEO eBrandz.

About the Author:

I am actively involved in social media marketing and also write for the same. The book – “Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success” has helped me get a detailed insight about the growing need of social media in today’s net-savvy world. This book is a must-read for people who want to win business and build concrete network through social media.

Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2010 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Twitter For Business – Five Chirpy Tips To Success

By Doug Dvorak

Tata Sky Active Services new mascot is a happy puppet that helps viewers to teach, learn, cook, shop and have fun, through Tata Sky’s interactive services. When the company wanted to let the puppet mingle with the public, and make its presence felt beyond the television, its media firm decided to launch him on Twitter, which they felt was the best way to interact in real-time with a growing audience in India! Plus, they felt that creating a Twitter presence for Active would result in long-lasting benefits, beyond the campaign period itself. But, how would people know that Active could talk?

The company set up a banner ad on MSN India, through which users could directly engage in a Twitter interaction with Active. They even made it possible for those without a Twitter account to tweet with Active without registering on the site. In a six-hour period, Active received three tweets per minute and interacted with as many users as was possible – so there were more than 1500 tweets exchanged overall! Total impressions of the banner crossed 1.3 million, and Tata Sky’s landing page (which could be accessed through the banner) received more than 15,000 views! The company is planning to give Active a permanent social media presence, so he can continue interacting and building business in a natural, matter-of-fact way.

When PepsiCo managers decided to go online to connect with their customers, they found that Twitter was much more helpful than calls on their toll-free number, because the tweeters seemed to share more insights-rather than talk just about the products, they openly shared views on marketing methods, articles they read in the media, and even the promotional offers by the company. Levi’s went a step ahead and recruited a college graduate to be Levi’s Guy, the company’s Twitter presence. Being a born tweeter, he immediately built a rapport with the customer base. He tweets about photo shoots, product launch parties, cool Levi’s jean sightings and new collaborations. He provides fans with Levi’s product giveaways and free gift cards, invites and tickets to exclusive events. In short, he tries to make Levi’s as familiar as the guy next door!

When a coffee house started allowing customers to place their orders via Twitter, their business grew multi-fold. Every time a Dell outlet noticed a customer tweeting about plans to buy a new laptop, it would deliver a special discount coupon to that tweeter, increasing the chances of her deciding on a Dell! When a bakery found tweets from a college group about their plans for a get-together, they immediately sent them their menu and latest offers, grabbing their order within an hour. When an apparel store found a dad-to-be tweeting about how well a particular brand’s apparel fitted his wife all through her pregnancy, they found an all-new marketing angle!

It is obvious is that Twitter is more than a teenage chat room. It is a tool that businesses can use to connect with their customer-base in an unobtrusive way. They can not only talk to the business, but also listen to what the customers need and meet those requirements before anybody else does. Let us see how.

Keep reading tweets…

James Cameron, in one of his pre-Avatar interviews, had mentioned that it would be difficult to sum up any concept worth discussing in so little a number of words. Doug Dvorak, CEO of Digital Marketing Group, says that is the hesitation that most businessmen have. That is, how can one have a meaningful conversation in 140 characters (or less), which is Twitter’s word limit per post?

“Isn’t tweeting a fad used only by teenagers? Not according to comScore, which says that Twitter now has 20 million users, up from 2 million users a year back. That is a 100 per cent growth in a year! You may have read successful case studies of airlines and media companies using Twitter to their benefit. But, how can a small business use Twitter to its advantage,” Dvorak asks. He also explains how following and posting on Twitter can help your business.

First let us consider why you have to follow Twitter feeds, and read what your potential customer base tweets about. “Well to answer that, let us take a step back and ask this question. What is it that your potential customers want? If I put myself in my customer’s shoes, the one thing that really bugs me is that if I have any problem, I have to call or email a business. Some of the new age companies also provide customer chat support. But then, it usually takes time to explain the problem, only to be told that I have to talk to someone in a different department. And then, many times I am sent back and forth between departments. As a customer, I would love it if I just have to talk about my problem and someone (the right person) can come and solve my problem themselves. That is exactly how Twitter can help a customer. If they have a grievance, they can post about it. The onus then shifts on you as a businessman to try and solve your customer’s problem. If you are able to do that, not only do you help your customer, but you differentiate your business from others.”

Incidentally, Twitter also has a location feature, which you can use to see what the users close to your location are posting on their Twitter accounts. You can search for people trying to buy something near your business location and help them out. Not only can you identify such leads to improve your sales, but you could also read about what customers like or dislike about your brand (so you can change that), identify ideas for new products or services, and more.

…and keep tweeting

Tweeting is as helpful as following others’ Twitter feeds. For one, it gives your business a human touch, and conveys your ideas to the public. It makes you and your business familiar to the typical customers of your company. It engages your customers in meaningful conversation, keeps them up-to-date about your business, and enables them to reflect on your ideas and empathise with you.

For example, if you sell trendy college bags, you would probably write about latest fashions, international designs, what kind of bag to sport with what dress, what kind of bags today’s college-goers prefer, and in between also write about what your company is making, the offers you are running at the moment, non-confidential business plans and activities (for e.g., what is happening during a road show), and so on.

That is, you need to tweet about things that will interest your customer so that they will subscribe to your feed and hang on your every word!

Search engines are also indexing twitter feeds. So, the more you tweet, the easier it is for people to find your business while searching for something on Google.

“Businessmen can post thoughts, which they think their customers would like to know. It is about being open and honest. They can create a blog post about how to buy a product or service in their industry, and then tweet the link to such blog posts. They can provide customer service on their Twitter account. If they have enough followers, they can do spot customer surveys. Additionally they can, sometimes, run offers for their Twitter users. They can also run quizzes or contests where they can give away prizes. The possibilities are endless,” enumerates Dvorak.

In short, Twitter works for businesses; and you know it now from the examples mentioned. But, you need to go about it the right way. Start by creating a Twitter account and first quietly observing the kind of activity that goes on there; then start with small and safe tweets, and then go on to mingle with your peers and customers. Always remember to listen a lot.

Here are some golden mantras that will help you to use Twitter as a ticket to business success!

  • Focus on service and not sales pitches

    While Twitter will ultimately improve sales, that should not be the only motive behind tweeting. As a businessman, you need to broaden your horizon, and understand that customers care more about ‘service’ than a ‘sales pitch’. “Let us take the example of Domino’s Pizza. What is the first thing you remember about it? I have asked this question to many people and the answer I get is: “30 minutes nahin to FREE”. If you think about it, Domino’s Pizza has built their whole marketing scheme around their fast and superior delivery. So, the whole marketing campaign revolves around their service. And, customers care more about service than sales pitches,” explains Dvorak.

    Once businessmen can wrap their head around the idea that Twitter can help them provide superior customer service (although we still need to have many more users on Twitter – to justify Twitter as a complete customer service tool), they can then start thinking of what else they can do.

  • Build relationships

    If you are into B2B, then you already know that most B2B selling is relationship-based selling. People will buy from you if they like you. You cannot force anyone to like you. But, you can start posting your thoughts online on Twitter. So people who follow you or your business know that you are an actual human being. If you are posting genuine thoughts and initiating interesting conversations, people will start respecting you and liking you. This can no doubt help your business.

    Engagement is a key prerequisite for building long-term relationships. You need to engage your followers in meaningful conversations, and not boss over them. Doug Dvorak, who is co-authoring Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport; How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success, explains: “Engagement, not control, is a key ingredient to success on social media sites like Twitter. Quite often, small business owners are control freaks. It might be one of the reasons for the success of their businesses. But it’s essential to remember that while using Twitter, not to try and always be in control of the conversation. The rules of engagement are quite the same as any face-to-face interaction. When a potential customer talks with you, would you listen to him or would you toot your own horn? Never make the mistake of thinking that you can hold sway over social media conversations.”

  • Do more than just talking and listening…

    Also act on the information gathered! If you find a potential customer, reach out to him. If you hear a few people say they did not like your new promotional scheme, find out what and try to change it. “Make it a point to learn from every engagement and use it to improve your business,” says Dvorak.

    Plus, when you do something based on customer feedback, talk about it on Twitter. This will let your customers (and potential customers) know that you care about their opinions.

  • Never make blatant marketing statements

    You need to say so many interesting things every day that will make the customers subscribe to your Twitter feed and hang on to every word you say. If all you do through your Twitter account is offer information about your products and services, and what you do, customers would just stop following it.

    “Start conversations on problems your customers face or provide tips on how to buy a product or service in your industry, what to look out for, etc. These should be honest opinions and not promotional messages. Don’t treat Twitter like a one way megaphone, which you use to bombard your users with blatant promotional messages,” warns Dvorak.

    “Tweet links to whitepapers and thought leadership articles that take people back to your website,” offers Alok Pant, senior vice president – Marketing & Strategic Alliances, Intelligroup. This not only engages the user with interesting information, but also draws traffic to your website.

  • Character and discretion matters, even for your online avatar

    The three essential ingredients of a successful social media interaction are honesty, transparency and authenticity. These characteristics should be reflected in all your online interactions. In case you decide to put somebody else in charge of your company’s Twitter account, make sure they represent these qualities too.

    Next to character, one needs to be tactful and discretionary, when conversing on Twitter. Never let loose any confidential information about your business, and then repent about it-news spreads like wildfire on the Web. So, be extra careful.

    “Do not tweet anything that is even remotely inappropriate, be aware of international relations, and do not tweet on politics or religion,” adds Pant.

    Keep these five points in mind before starting off with your tweeting adventures. But, always remember to first develop a broad social media strategy, and align your Twitter strategy to that, so that you do not just end up tweeting loosely about this and that, without it contributing in any way to your customer service or business goals.

    A businessman himself, Dvorak signs off saying, “My experience tweeting has been mixed. I originally came to tweeting as a sceptic (you can say I agreed with James Cameron). But then I realised that small businesses cannot afford to be James Cameron. They have to be present where their potential customers are present. I definitely think there is potential in this medium. I consider the customer service and the ability to communicate and listen to potential customers (to improve your business) as great assets of Twitter. What I hate is the direct promotional messages that I receive from followers everyday.”

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a micro-blog platform. Assume that instead of large blog articles, you write small messages that are less than 140 characters (that would approximately be one long sentence or two small ones). These SMS-like messages can be posted through your mobile phone, or on the Web. Nowadays, most smart phones include Twitter applications, which make tweeting very easy.

So, what makes twitter posts or tweets different from SMS messages? Basically, Twitter is recipient-driven. The messages you post are automatically sent to all the people who choose to receive it, that is, all those who subscribe to your feed to follow you! Apart from that, they can also be read by anybody who browses the message pool on Twitter, or searches for keywords related to your posts.

Others can also reply to your tweets and continue the discussion. Similarly, you can also read the messages posted by others and reply to those, as well as subscribe to the message feeds of those you wish to follow closely.

Tweet, twitter, chip, chirp, birdie language!

What is this ‘tweeting’? Sounds like a bird. Well, it is a verb cum noun from the new Web 2.0 lingo!

  • To tweet is to post a message on Twitter.
  • A tweet is a message on Twitter.
  • To follow a person, is to subscribe to his Twitter account (or message feed) and read all the messages the person posts.

Best practices recommended by Twitter for businessmen

  • Think about Twitter as a place to build relationships. Instead of approaching Twitter as a place to broadcast information about your company, think of it as a place to build relationships.
  • Include in your bio and/or custom background, the names (or @usernames) of the people twittering from your company account. It is also a good idea to include additional contact information, like email addresses.
  • Listen regularly for comments about your company, brand and products-and be prepared to address concerns, offer customer service or thank people for praise.
  • Use a casual, friendly tone in your messages.
  • While you should not feel compelled to follow everyone who follows you, do respond to some questions or comments addressed to you.
  • If you like a particular message, re-tweet it. People often appreciate the sharing and amplification of their ideas, so look to re-tweet cool stuff.
  • Post links to articles and sites you think folks would find interesting-even if they are not your sites or about your company.
  • Make sure your tweets provide some real value: Offer Twitter exclusive coupons or deals. Take people behind the scenes of your company. Post pictures from your offices, stores, warehouses, etc. Share sneak peeks of projects or events in development.
  • Do not spam people. Twitter’s following model means that you have to respect the interests and desires of other people here or they will un-follow you.
  • Test the waters by sending just a few promos to start, and then continue only if people show interest.
  • Understand the real-time nature of Twitter. Messages on Twitter are short, quick and able to reach people wherever they happen to be. Make use of that to keep in touch with your target audience.
  • You can ask questions, float ideas and solicit feedback on Twitter-and expect pretty quick replies most of the time.
  • If you have just launched a product, ask users what they think or search for real-time tweets from people talking about your product. You can also ask or search for feedback on new ad campaigns you have launched, stores you have opened or murky issues you have to handle.
  • When people raise customer service issues on Twitter, they generally expect a quick reply-within a day, if not within a few hours, depending on the nature of your business. Keep an eye on your @mentions.

Is Twitter working for you?

Nobody would like to invest time in anything that does not provide returns, especially when it is related to one’s business. If you have taken to Twitter for purely business reasons-that is, to please your customers and build your business, you will probably want to look back after sometime and see how you have fared.

Here are some ways in which you can measure the effect of your tweeting…

  • What does your gut feeling say? How is the interaction with your followers? Are you responding to most of the messages? Are you tweeting frequently?
  • Have more people started talking about your company? Are most tweets about you positive? Or if they started out largely negative, are they becoming more positive now?
  • Although the effect of Twitter is largely qualitative, it can be measured in a few ways. To do that, you first need to set yourself some targets before you start out… that is, define how you wish things to change for your business in three, six or twelve months after you start tweeting.
  • When you offer deals via Twitter, use a unique coupon code so that you can find out how many people have taken up those offers.
  • If you have an online presence, you can also set up a landing page for a promotion, so that you can track how many people have arrived there through Twitter, and how they acted further on reaching there. That is, did it materialise into a business deal?
  • Use third-party tools to figure out how much traffic your websites are receiving from Twitter. Also use such tools to track click-throughs on any link you post in a tweet.
  • Keep a tally of questions answered, customer problems resolved and positive exchanges held on Twitter. Do the percentages change over time?

Resource:

Know more about the innovative and inventive world of Social Media and the wonders it can do to your business. Download an entire chapter of Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success by Doug Dvorak – CEO Digital Marketing Group & Milind Mody – CEO eBrandz.

About the Author:

I am actively involved in social media marketing and also write for the same. The book – “Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success” has helped me get a detailed insight about the growing need of social media in today’s net-savvy world. This book is a must-read for people who want to win business and build concrete network through social media.

Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2010 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

How to Stay Positive in a Negative World

By Doug Dvorak

It’s hard to stay positive in the tough world of today. Every day we come across situations and people who remind us of the harsh realities of life. No one can avoid problems, but they can definitely determine how to face them. As famous graphic artist Mary Engelbreit said, ‘If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.’ Here are some tips to stay positive in a negative world.

Tips to Staying Positive in A Negative World

Surround yourself with positivity : Feelings and attitudes are infectious. That’s how the company of some people automatically lifts up your spirits. Seek positive friends who are happy and hopeful. Surround your home and office with quotes on positivity.

Nurture your mind : Consciously avoid television programs and films that are negative. They always have an impact at the subconscious level. Read positive books with happy stories and the inspiring lives and thoughts of great people. Spiritual, emotional and mental wellbeing helps you stay happy even in the worst environments.

See hardship as an opportunity : Your view determines everything. The world is the same for everyone. How is it that some make it while others don’t? It’s because the former saw possibilities where others only saw hardship and pain.

Do something : When plagued with negativity, don’t brood. You will only feel worse. Do something you love. Your spirit will be uplifted as your mind is diverted towards the new activity. Like every other organ, the brain has to be fed. Give it light instead of the darkness that comes from pondering over something bitter.

View the positive side of things : Even negative things have a positive side to them. Train your mind to concentrate on those. Losing your job is not all about losing your only source of income. It also means free time for family and all the things you always planned to do but never found the time for.

Appreciate and be grateful : Gratitude is one of the greatest gifts to man. Learn to be grateful not just for something good but even for the negative because it teaches you something. As Oscar Wilde said, ‘If you don’t get everything you want, think of the things you don’t get that you don’t want.’

Forge a strong belief system : Everything starts with you. What are the values you treasure? What is your attitude to people and the world in general? Consciously work on a program of self development that cultivates hope, optimism, faith and your own unique potential.

Learn to let go : Accept that there is only so much that you can do. The rest is outside your control. So just shut out those things and forget about them. Remember that you cannot please all the people all the time. As George Bernard Shaw said, “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”

Follow these tips as a basis for a more positive life and you will surely see a change. There is no time like NOW to make a fresh start.

Resource:

Know more about the innovative and inventive world of Social Media and the wonders it can do to your business. Download an entire chapter of Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success by Doug Dvorak – CEO Digital Marketing Group & Milind Mody – CEO eBrandz.

About the Author:

I am actively involved in social media marketing and also write for the same. The book – “Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success” has helped me get a detailed insight about the growing need of social media in today’s net-savvy world. This book is a must-read for people who want to win business and build concrete network through social media.

Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2010 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

5 Ways to Stay Connected in a Wired World

By Doug Dvorak

Whether you run a small, mid-sized or large business, you cannot reach the pinnacles of success unless you remain connected with your customers. The only way to know what the client wants and needs, which way the demand trends are moving, what customers dislike and what they expect from your products and services is to stay in touch with the public at all times. Today’s technology driven world makes this simple. Here are some tips on how you can stay connected with your customers effectively and strengthen your relationship with them.

How to Stay Connected

Here are 5 easy ways to ensure that you always have your finger on the pulse of customer preference.

  • Email – Make sure that you collect the email addresses of all your customers. A regular mail just to update the client on the latest happenings at the company, new offerings, changes in schemes, etc., as well as asking for their feedback regarding your products and services will go a long way in helping you build long-lasting relationships and products cater to customer needs.

  • Social Network Media – The rising popularity of social networking sites, such as MySpace, Facebook and Twitter to name a few, provides an excellent way of reaching out to a vast audience in the least amount of time and with minimal expenditure. Create a profile for your company on each of these sites and use the network to create a snowball effect, where each person who likes what you have uploaded will recommend it to his own group of contacts. You can even create a forum on such sites to get comments and feedback from the public.

  • Skype & Google Voice – These free VOIP services makes staying in touch with clients across the globe easy and cheap. With facilities to share text, videos and conduct conferences, these services have made life easy for business owners.

  • Google Apps & Google Apps Mobile – With these applications, you can do everything from keeping a calendar of events to document storage and even creating email servers. Since these apps are web-base, you can access information from anywhere in the world, using any computer or mobile device.

  • Go2Meetings – This is an application that gives you the freedom to connect with clients and co-workers on a one-on-one as well as group basis. All the facilities, such as video conferencing, desktop sharing, presentation, webinars and group training. GO2meetingsoffers a huge variety of options for webinar structuring, group training, or meeting one-on-one with clients or co-workers. The smooth combination of video, voice, and presentation allow for various types of connections within the same application. This is available to users at a reasonable monthly fee.

    If you are looking for ways to stay connected with your clients or if you are simply looking for the best ways to enhance sales and revenues, visit www.salescoach.us. With more than 25 years of experience, The Sales Coaching Institute is easily the leader in the field of sales and sales management training.

Resource:

Know more about the innovative and inventive world of Social Media and the wonders it can do to your business. Download an entire chapter of Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success by Doug Dvorak – CEO Digital Marketing Group & Milind Mody – CEO eBrandz.

About the Author:

I am actively involved in social media marketing and also write for the same. The book – “Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success” has helped me get a detailed insight about the growing need of social media in today’s net-savvy world. This book is a must-read for people who want to win business and build concrete network through social media.

Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2010 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

From Good to Great – 5 Steps to Motivational Excellence

By Doug Dvorak

The jump from good to great is a huge one and no one can compel you to achieve it. It comes from within. The starting point is of course the desire to excel, to put in that extra something that makes work and life filled with the fresh morale everyday to give our best to satisfy a need to excel. In work for instance, most of us are happy just to follow instructions. But is that the way you thought when you started out? Wasn’t it your dream to be the best in your chosen field? Well you can start right now!

5 Steps to Motivate You to Excel

Dig out your dreams : All of us have dreams that we buried somewhere as we got bogged down by the harsh realities of life. Well, bring them out. All great people started with a dream.

Do what you love : You can never excel unless you enjoy what you do. This is because at times the going could get so tough that slogging at something day after day can be a drudge. So make sure you love what you are setting out to do.

Be inspired : Keep inspiring yourself with a picture of what things will be like once you achieve your goals. Read books on great people. Their struggles will inspire you. Build your spiritual strength through nurturing faith.

Plan a strategy : A strategy is more than just a plan. Find what you need to do to get what you dream of. Find out the obstacles you could face and plan how you will overcome them. Also, find what others in your situation did. You have to work smart and not just hard. Getting the best results in the shortest time is the key. Plan to invest triple of what you think you will need .This prepares you for the worst.

Ask for feedback: Avoid wasting time and energy by taking regular feedback. Reach out to friends and family as well as seniors in work or otherwise to make sure you are on the right track. Remember to surround yourself with positive people.
With these five steps as the basis you can never go wrong. You can be assured of an invigorated self, renewed morale, resilience to stress, increased creativity and good humor, not to mention the fun element as you live your dreams.

Resource:

Know more about the innovative and inventive world of Social Media and the wonders it can do to your business. Download an entire chapter of Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success by Doug Dvorak – CEO Digital Marketing Group & Milind Mody – CEO eBrandz.

About the Author:

I am actively involved in social media marketing and also write for the same. The book – “Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success” has helped me get a detailed insight about the growing need of social media in today’s net-savvy world. This book is a must-read for people who want to win business and build concrete network through social media.

Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2010 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

How to Awaken The Motivational Giant Within

By Doug Dvorak

American author Anais Nin said, “And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight inside the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom’. We all have immense potential within us that is just waiting to be awakened. Yet, most of us prefer to lead mediocre lives. There’s nothing wrong in being content with what we have, but are we really, totally satisfied?

Somewhere deep inside our hearts, do we feel that we are capable of much more? If you are always looking out and wishing you could be like this or that person, there is no point. No one ever got rich by counting his neighbor’s wealth. At the end of our lives, all we will have are the memories of the risks we took to reach beyond our limitations and achieve the impossible that we desired. We do not need the outside world to do this for us. The motivational giant we require exists within our lives.

Steps To Awaken the Motivational Giant Within

Here are a few tips to awaken the motivation that will spur you forward:

Know yourself : A Buddhist scripture expresses the unique beauty of each individual with the metaphor of the cherry, plum and peach blossoms. Each blooms and bears fruit in its own time and in its own way. We all have our own special talents and abilities. Know what they are and build on them.

Visualize a goal: Set meaningful goals that accord with your ideals, beliefs and abilities. Aim as high as you can, for in life we achieve much less than what we aim for. If your goal is small in the first place, you will achieve even less than what you set out to.

Believe in yourself : Everything starts and ends with you. Our minds have the power to move mountains. If you believe you can do it, you can. Obstacles will come but if your mind is strong you will not be defeated. Ultimately, it is not the ridicule of others but our own inner demons, like the fear of failure, of getting out of our comfort zone or of the hard work ahead, that defeat us.

Refresh at intervals : Even the most positive person can lose heart sometimes. Inner motivation has to be nurtured. You can do this in three ways:

  • Read about the lives of great people, people you admire and who have made a difference.
  • Recall the times when you displayed unexpected potential.
  • Meet someone or do something that makes you happy about yourself.

Take action : The best intentions are useless till they are translated into action. Don’t sit and dream that the right opportunity will come your way. Go out and find them. Actually seeing concrete results of your efforts will motivate you further.

History has shown us that neither Martin Luther King nor Mother Teresa would have achieved anything if they had not listened to the voice within them. You can do it too.

Resource:

Know more about the innovative and inventive world of Social Media and the wonders it can do to your business. Download an entire chapter of Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success by Doug Dvorak – CEO Digital Marketing Group & Milind Mody – CEO eBrandz.

About the Author:

I am actively involved in social media marketing and also write for the same. The book – “Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success” has helped me get a detailed insight about the growing need of social media in today’s net-savvy world. This book is a must-read for people who want to win business and build concrete network through social media.

Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2010 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

In Search Of Motivational Excellence

By Doug Dvorak

Pat Riley had once said, ‘Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better’. Excellence is not something that is thrust upon a person. It is a quality that evolves out of constant training and relentless striving to do one’s best in everything. Here are some tips for those in search of motivational excellence.

Steps To Motivational Excellence

The desire to excel can spur a person to tremendous achievements. Here are some ways to fulfill this:

Be hungry for success : “Desire is the key to motivation, but its determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal — a commitment to excellence — that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”–Mario Andretti. The starting point towards excellence is a burning hunger to do and be so. Without this, you will only end up making halfhearted efforts at best.

Set proper goals : Set down concrete goals both long and short term. Set them down in every area of your life with a deadline against each. They should all be goals that you believe are for you and not something decided by others.

Have your own personal hero : Select one person to admire. It should be someone connected to what you are working on. Look at the results he has achieved and use them as a benchmark to set your own. You can even aim higher than him. Also mingle with people in your immediate environment who are the best in your chosen field. Building on the experiences of others is always better than starting from scratch.

Have faith : Faith is the starting point of excellence. You need to have faith in the worthiness of your goal as well as in your ability to achieve it. Only then can you go all out to achieve it, breaking through all your limitations and the obstacles that come in your way. To achieve excellence in any field, you have to try everything possible. You can only motivate yourself to do this if you have a strong belief as the basis.

Focus and persevere : Success comes through hard work. But it is more important to work smart. Do not waste time on unnecessary activity. Build a strategy to work by. Also, do not be deterred by unexpected hurdles. Be adaptable to change by not being rigid about your plans.

Work on your personal wellbeing : Your physical, mental and emotional health is of utmost importance when it comes to achieving excellence. Eat healthy and sleep well. Plan your leisure with friends and family who make you feel happy and loved. You can never fight against the odds that you will face unless you feel hale and hearty.

If you desire to be successful, you have to strive for excellence in all that you do. As Thomas J. Watson said, “If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work.”

Resource:

Know more about the innovative and inventive world of Social Media and the wonders it can do to your business. Download an entire chapter of Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success by Doug Dvorak – CEO Digital Marketing Group & Milind Mody – CEO eBrandz.

About the Author:

I am actively involved in social media marketing and also write for the same. The book – “Sales 3.0 – The New Contact Sport How To Use And Leverage Social Media Marketing For Small Business Sales Success” has helped me get a detailed insight about the growing need of social media in today’s net-savvy world. This book is a must-read for people who want to win business and build concrete network through social media.

Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2010 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

The Sales Tipping Point

By Doug Dvorak

According to Bryan Walsh, tipping points are the “levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable” (Time Magazine 10-12-2007). In Malcolm Gladwell‟s book The Tipping Point, the sociological tipping point is seen in many different environments, from crime in New York City to the athletic shoe company Airwalk.

However, the lessons in this book provide a great deal of motivational sales training for entrepreneurs, salespeople, and businesspeople. Chicago sales training speakers and those around the world are beginning to see how some of these concepts can help kick start a business or sales-related opportunity. Gladwell‟s concepts can truly push the current situation into a sales tipping point.

The Law of the Few
Gladwell refers to the economic “80/20 Principle, which is the idea that in any situation roughly 80 percent of the „work‟ will be done by 20 percent of the participants” (The Tipping Point p.19). Following Gladwell‟s lead, we can identify these participants that can initiate the momentum for change in sales.

Connectors
Connectors bring the world together. In sales and marketing training standards, the connectors are the individuals that salespeople can use to help make business connections. Gladwell‟s characterization of connectors as those who have social networks of over one hundred people makes an important insight into the sales world, and opens up many opportunities.

Sales coaching institutes can identify a number of connectors to those in sales. Past acquaintances, friends and contacts in business and in your market, friends and family members who “know” people, and even clients you have good relationships with fit into this category. A positive sales training consultant can identify these people, who often will help you if you are aware of their ability. Try to identify the connectors in your life and business endeavors.

Mavens
Mavens are the information specialists, according to Gladwell. They are extremely knowledgeable about the marketplace and are people who want to help others solve their problems. Described as information brokers, they will share and trade according to their understanding and knowledge.

Sales and marketing training consultants will inform you that mavens are useful in identifying new contacts and potential clients. They can be seen as paid investments for leads, known as suppliers. These mavens are a paid way to obtain information and sales leads, which can tip your sales progress. However, there are also mavens in your business contacts, and those throughout your life. Similar to connectors, mavens are individuals and groups who are everywhere. While they don‟t necessarily present themselves as paid opportunities, such as suppliers do, they are often there willing to give you advice and help you in your sales objectives in any way they can.

Salesmen
Besides the self-explanatory definition of salesmen, they have an indefinable trait that makes others want to agree with them. Gladwell cites new anchor Peter Jennings in this category, for instance.Motivational sales training attempts to express the underlying traits of successful salespeople. For those in sales, there is a huge portion in the knowledge of one‟s products and services and the other tangible dynamics in success in sales. However, these underlying traits that make salesmen especially successful resound in the other qualities.

In order to develop these qualities within yourself, try to understand the most important dynamics you need to master and develop. Patience, communication, understanding of the customer and his or her needs, and enthusiasm, among others, are crucial. Motivational sales training and sales training consultants are great for identifying what makes a salesman successful in regards to these dynamics. Consult with these and sales training articles to develop yourself into the model salesman.

The Stickiness Factor
The stickiness factor refers to the content of the message that makes its impact memorable. Gladwell cites examples such as Sesame Street and Blue‟s Clues to illustrate this point. Determining the stickiness factor for your business or sales endeavors is another important horizon in obtaining the sales tipping point desired.

Sales training will often concentrate on the means by which salespeople strive after opportunities. Of course, there is much to be said about how you obtain sales leads and reach your target audience. However, regardless of how well you reach your potential clients and customers, content is king.

From marketing to actual sales pitches, integrate motivational sales training standards of representing your product or service in a positive light. Brochures and web site ads should display what you or your business has to offer. It should integrate well-written explanations of your offerings to potential clients, and also well-designed graphics as appropriate in some industries.

Some marketing campaigns, from newspaper ads to multi-million dollar corporation television spots, do not integrate one of the most important lessons in sales skills training. Your message, whatever it may be, should be presented in such as way that it sticks. What you have to offer should be identified by the consumer, and any applicable examples should be shown to give an accurate representation of quality. The stickiness factor can be obtained with careful planning and understanding of what your audience is looking for.

The Power of Context
The power of context teaches that environment can stimulate human behavior through sensitivity. Referring to sociological history, Gladwell illustrates how the smallest changes have instituted change. Your target audience is sensitive to context, as Gladwell illustrates; the epidemics he cites are changed by subtle attempts.

Sales and marketing training can identify a significant number of ways to improve your sales leads, marketing campaigns, and interactions with potential and current customers. And it is with these small changes in the sales environment in which your business sales training goals can reach your sales tipping point. Your “sales epidemic” can be instituted by small and important ways to stimulate your sales tipping point.

Sales training articles and sales training consulting contacts can help you identify ways which may be appropriate for your goals in your business-related endeavors. Carefully observe how you are placing your services and products into context for the consumer. You may be surprised how subtle changes can drastically alter your success and create the sought after sales tipping point in your business endeavors.

About the Author:

Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)

The Law of Large Numbers- 7 Steps to a Robust Sales Funnel

By Doug Dvorak

The adage of not putting all of one‟s eggs in one basket certainly applies to the topic of sales. With a great deal of competition and a deep target audience for many to reach, sales training methods have recognized this reality. From Chicago sales training to sales and marketing training forces around the globe, the Law of Large Numbers is an important concept to understand.

Creating a robust sales funnel is not about settling with your current customers, or by not playing an active role in acquiring new sales leads. Sales training is all about this concept, which can help transform your current endeavors into something much more rewarding. Follow these seven steps in order to strive after this unlimited potential growth.

Step 1 – Existing Customers
Chicago sales training consultants who are successful have realized that there is much potential within the current customers than meets the eye. These customers are first identified as those who buy from you regularly, or those that make you the most amount of money.

Why is this important? This process allows you to identify what your target audience is truly like. Motivational sales training methods will teach you to identify what your target audience consists of; however, this may not be what is in actuality. And once these areas are identified you will be able to have a better idea of how to reach potential buyers better, if you know who they are.

Step 2 – Traditional Marketing Methods
Business sales training lessons have proven to be effective over the years. Traditional marketing methods such as direct mail and sales calls are viable options in your marketing campaign. A creative and well-written brochure, or a sales call to a customer within your targeted market, can do wonders for reaching potential customers. Of course, don‟t neglect to utilize these methods in regards to your existing customers, as they are great tools for drawing back happy clients.

Step 3 – Sales 2.0 Marketing Methods
Sales 2.0 marketing methods have altered the landscape of sales and marketing training. Now millions of people are able to be reached, which can drastically change the prospective clients of the largest and smallest businesses.

Take the time to utilize these effective, and in many cases, free methods. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other online communities offer free and time-efficient methods of reaching millions across the world. They also make great options for the next step with paid advertising.

Step 4 – Paid Advertising
According to your budgeting resources available, paid advertising allows you reach your targeted audience much more efficiently. Utilizing these methods requires adherence to sales and marketing training methods, which can teach you how to identify the best resources to utilize.

Additionally, you will need to consider what environment to utilize in your paid advertising scheme. For instance, it may be more appropriate for a business with a strict local service, such as a photographer in a smaller city, to utilize more traditional and local forms of paid advertising. On the other hand, a business that can be targeted globally can take advantage of the 350 million users on a website such as Facebook.

Step 5 – Suppliers
Another great way to use your budgeting money is through the use of suppliers that will give you sales leads. Sales management consultants will agree that suppliers can form an effective basis to your marketing scheme. Whereas sales training articles will debate the usefulness of suppliers in certain industries, if your business could benefit from a service such as this, it is worth the time and consideration.

Ask as many questions as you can in order to ensure you are receiving a quality supplier. For instance, infoUK recommends questions ranging from basic ideas of what kind of information and the going rates, to a specific and useful question regarding the supplier‟s goneaway rate, which may not be so obvious in finding a supplier. Sales training articles and sales training consultants can help you identify quality suppliers for your business or offered services.

Step 6 – Following Through
Knowing what to do with your sales leads and interested customers is an important aspect. While capturing a potential buyer‟s interest and getting their contact information on some medium is one thing, motivational sales training will teach you how following through is an entirely different issue. Regardless of whether you are using sales leads or marketing, or both, you must follow through with your target.

Plan how you will capture potential customers and draw their interest. If you are going to call them directly, plan out how you can achieve a quality call to lay out what you can offer or do for the customer. On the Internet, many businesses fail in following through with their traffic on their website, for instance. Paying for additional traffic to increase sales is a great way to draw in interested customers. However, a poorly written or designed website will do the business no good.

Step 7 – Measure, Repeat, and Adjust
Business sales training methods will result in both failures and successes. After you have been through the steps of creating your sales funnel you will need to identify and adjust your model of promoting your business, services, or products. Once this is done, you should see greater results in the next and subsequent steps of your attempts to grow.

In order to make progress in growing your sales funnel, you will need some dedication and sales training to find success. Utilize the resources best suited to reach your targeted customers. Also, identify who your customers are, what methods are appropriate, and how you can alter plans to increase your results.

You will find the Law of Large Numbers as a driving force to your success. Sales and marketing methods will teach you to find as many potential customers as you can, which is one of the most important steps. Identification and choices within your marketing plans will also be important points in developing this sales funnel. Once you have reached out to the large numbers of potential customers, you will be able to execute and grow in your business plans and goals.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)

The 7 Irrefutable Laws of Sales Success

By Doug Dvorak

Sales training methods all have varying levels of success in the sales world. While sales training consultants and sales training articles debate on methods, behaviors, and appearance, the important laws of sales success will get results. These seven irrefutable laws of sales success will get results, and should be in the forefront of your efforts in all phases of your business developments.

Law 1 – Find Your Customers
Sales training speakers preach that you must find your customers. In the first way of seeing this sales law, the process involves identifying who your customers are. Make sure you know and understand what your target market(s) are for your products or services offered.

Once you are aware of your target audience, you will be much better prepared at finding them. As seen in the second law, you must be aware of this in order to be able to market to them.

Law 2 – Devoted Marketing
Examine your resources, from your sales team training to your personal efforts in marketing, as applicable. Foster these resources into smart and directed marketing campaigns to get what you are selling to your target audience.

Observe sales training articles, which offer a great deal of information on cutting-edge marketing environments. Viral marketing methods, such as social networking communities and forums, are a potential source of business. Opportunities like these offer marketing opportunities for free, and great options for paid advertising.

Chicago sales trainers and sales management consultants from around the world agree that sales marketing must be committed. You and your team should be devoted to reaching your target audience by utilizing the wealth of opportunities available.

Law 3 – Understanding You and the Competition
Sales and marketing training experts agree that understanding is paramount in sales. As seen in a sales training article from Applied Product Marketing: “It is vital that your sales team understands the context of your business and the market in which you operate.” Understanding your services or products, in addition the role you play in the market and in the competition is crucial.

Understanding your products and services, and additionally your goals, are key in business sales training methods that are successful. If you want your customers to trust in what you are selling, you must know and understand what it does for the customer. Likewise, any service of product offered, should represent the business‟s goals and direction. The customer needs to know how you are directing your products and services to customers‟ needs on a much larger basis.

Sales training articles have also begun to realize how understanding the competition can provide sales success. This is no surprise, however, as interested customers will be comparing your services and products from the competition. Your role is to understand the advantages and disadvantages that you and the competition offer. Play to your strengths without putting down the competition.

Law 4 – Ask Questions First
Many conventional methods in business sales training setting simply do not provide sales success. A car salesman won‟t understand what a potential customer is looking for if a product is presented first, without questions. Conventional selling methods attempt to present products and services without connecting to the customer. This occurs by asking questions.

This dynamic is seen in a business sales training method called consultative sales. Consultative sales builds a relationship and gains insight into the customer‟s needs. Once this occurs, the consumer will be much more likely to find interest in what is being offered if it fits this need. This dynamic is seen in the next law.

Sales success is found in asking questions first. By building a positive relationship with the customer and by obtaining information about his or her needs, you be in a much better position to help the customer. This enables you to connect better with the customer, thus increasing your chances at sales success. However, it begins with asking questions first.

Law 5 – Customize the Offer
In the sales and marketing training methods in which consultative sales thrive, information is acquired from the customer to gain insight regarding his or her needs. Once this occurs, you are able to offer a customized service or product to the customer.

Convention methods of selling undermine the relationship in the sales process. With the motivational sales training methods of consultative sales, the customer is not blindly offered a product without identification of the customer‟s needs. Thus, with consultative sales, the salesperson is able to offer something distinct with may satisfy the customer‟s needs.

Once you obtain what the customer is looking for: offer suggestions. Make every attempt to help the customer satisfy these needs with your products or services. If it doesn‟t work, obtain more information and try again in order to succeed in a potential sale.

Law 6 – Obtain More Leads
Sales training articles have widely observed the most successful sales endeavors having the most amounts of leads. If you expect to find success with your potential customers, it is only logical that you need more of them.

Using devoted marketing sales training techniques and your understanding of your target market, keep searching for more customers. As you search and find more customers you will be able to grow your business efforts and find increased sales success.

Law 7 – Use Resources Wisely
Sales coaching institutes will help you identify your marketing budget, sales team training methods, and additional resources available to you. However, it is important to consider all resources that you have.

For obtaining sales success, indeed a large part of this is found in budgets and applicable employees. Foster these resources into potential sales success with proper use. Make smart decisions by placing your marketing budget in the right places according to your target market; utilize your staff to search relevant social communities and forums to connect to potential customers in your market for free.

One area in which sales training articles and consultants tend to forget is in regards to other resources. In order to truly find sales success, utilize all resources you have. Many salespeople are often surprised to find a number of colleagues, friends, family members, and customers who are willing to offer leads, services, and valuable information. Utilize the full spectrum of your resources to obtain the sales success you desire.

About the Author:

Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)

Sales 2.0- The New Contact Sport

By Doug Dvorak

Sales management training methods can be centered on the introduction of effective Sales 2.0 methods. In the wake of emerging websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Linkedin, and other social networking platforms and sites, these effective methods are changing the landscape for motivational sales training. Thus, as companies begin to realize the benefits of these free and wide-reaching tools, sales team training can be improved for better results.

Traditional Marketing Methods
Older methods of sales prospecting have seen a decline in effectiveness and use of budget. Snail mail, in-person prospecting, and phone calls are becoming an insufficient use of a company‟s money. Either by direct costs or the time it takes for the staff to perform these duties, the cost-efficiency of such endeavors are undermined. And even for these methods to be successful, they must incorporate high standards, which is costly. However, as reported in a USA Today article (online on 6.22.2005) on viral advertising, Russ Klein, Burger King‟s chief marketing officer states that “People have grown increasingly skeptical of packaged, canned, Madison Avenue-speak.” Truly these ineffective ads that take budgeting money away cannot be the focus of sales training tactics.

Motivational sales training methods are improving on these traditional marketing methods, in response to the dual weaknesses elicited. The weaknesses of traditional marketing can be seen in two focal areas, with the inefficiency of the marketing method itself and the compounding nature of lost manpower. Sales training speakers have identified, such as in the aforementioned quote, that people have grown weary of such ads. Thus, the ineffectiveness of such methods does not bode well for increased business, as well as the virtually lost budget money. Additionally, the issue is compounded. In many of these traditional marketing methods, such as phone calls and in-person prospecting, if these methods prove ineffective in themselves, the business wasting valuable resources. This becomes an additional and devastating loss in today‟s market.

Benefits of Sales 2.0 Tools
As businesses are introduced to newer Sales 2.0 tools, the general inefficiency of traditional marketing methods are much improved upon. The first thing Sales 2.0 tools improve upon is in regards to direct advertising costs. Sales and marketing training groups are discovering the power of these tools, and for a much lower cost than traditional means. These newer methods can be obtained for no cost. And if money is to be spent somewhere, these networks and tools represent smart options for the money. In the second instance of the improvement of Sales 2.0 tools, manpower is saved. Time wasted by the staff in regards to traditional methods is remedied. Sales team training can focus on utilizing these networks and tools, thus saving the team‟s time with ineffective traditional methods.

Before getting into examples of starting points in Sales 2.0 tools, it is important that sales management training groups and other businesses recognize the effectiveness of such tools. With the scope of certain websites, tools, and online networks, literally millions of people can be reached, especially on the internet. In an article run by the New York Times (online on 7.10.2007), David Appelbaum, vice president for marketing at BigFix explains a marketing initiative run by the company: “‟Forty-five percent of the Web traffic to our main corporate site was originating from the viral campaign‟ last fall, he adds, and it is “still driving traffic.‟” In the article Mr. Appelbaum reported that the campaign generated 400,000 customers. Like the BigFix company had experienced in the New York Times article, results can be obtained with effective Sales 2.0 tools and marketing initiatives.

Audience
For Chicago sales training groups and for sales training members in all locations, it is important to realize the staggering audience that may be reached with Sales 2.0 tools. Social networks are an excellent example: according to statistics found on the social networking website Facebook, it has over 350 million active users. Other networking sites such as MySpace and Twitter reach millions of users across the globe and have become paramount for advertising means.

In national and local markets, such as for relevant a Chicago sales training consultant looking to get its business exposure, social networking and internet communities can play a pivotal role. Additionally to social networking websites is the role of online communities. These websites and communities within a given industry are found throughout the Internet. For instance, a Chicago sales trainer looking to get the company‟s children‟s toy on the market could find a number of communities within this industry. Enthusiasts with reviews, advice, and forums can be found dedicated to a virtually unlimited amount of industries and products.

Activity and Exposure
Sales skill training methods should ensure that marketers remain active within social communities and opportunities. For instance, in the aforementioned example of online forums, it is important to establish a level of rapport within the community. Members cannot be blanketed with advertising attempts. However, motivational sales training can demonstrate how to offer advice, get to know members, and tastefully introduce others to one‟s product or business.

Other slightly different online services can be effective for a Chicago sales trainer or sales training consultant in any location. Linkedin, Digg, Propeller, and StumbleUpon represent unique opportunities in Sales 2.0 tools. These websites allow a great deal of exposure based on the popularity of a website. For no cost, pages on a website could be placed on websites such as this. If users find it useful or entertaining, it could generate a great deal of traffic and exposure.

Sales 2.0 Opportunities
Sales 2.0 represents a unique opportunity that can transform business sales training. While these tools and communities offer excellent paid advertising prospects, they can be effectively utilized for free. When sales team training members consider this with the audience, exposure, and effectiveness that can take place, there truly is unlimited potential in marketing at this level.

As Sales 2.0 tools and opportunities can offer vast improvements over traditional methods, sales training consulting groups should consider integrating these into a blend to utilize the advantages of each. At any rate the opportunities available on the Internet will truly reshape the marketing world.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)

How to Rightsize and Cost-Size your Sales Organization by
Following a Well-Defined Sales Process

By Doug Dvorak

Recent sales training articles have expressed the importance and difference of rightsizing and cost-sizing a business, in opposition to downsizing. Downsizing cuts away resources and employees, getting rid of assets and employees in order to make it. Rightsizing, inextricably linked to cost-sizing in terms of financial resources, seeks to spend less, to make processes more efficient, and to redirect ineffective assets and resources in a more productive manner.

Improving Outside Aspects of the Organization
Sales and marketing training experts will inform you a great deal of a business‟s efficiency is within its processes and the manner in which resources and employees are handled. However, sales coaching institutes have also realized the importance of external aspects of a sales organization. All processes and aspects must be considered in maintaining the efficiency of a business‟s sales process and operations.

One strong example can be seen in the trend of going green. Sales training articles stress this movement that can save a great deal of resources. For instance, LCDs use a significant less amount of power compared to CRT screens. Other devices and areas can produce similar results.

Take a look around the organization for more ideas to cut costs effectively. For example, many organizations have a great deal of additional office space that is not needed. Some smaller businesses don‟t even need an office at all. Expenses like these can allow an organization to grow with time, versus building on unnecessary expenses.

Evaluate Processes and Expenses
Sales training consultants stress the questioning of every process and expense. To begin with, analyze every process to see how to impacts the sales organization. Some tasks may be able to be automated with CRM technology, for instance. Others can be guided into more effective processes. Your sales training team can help identify new standards and procedures to make them more effective. Yet the most important ability is to be able to analyze what the organization has been doing before it can be made more effective.

Motivational sales training experts also stress the questioning of every business expense within the organization. In a Microsoft Midsize Business Center sales training article, it is demonstrated that some expenses are not as necessary as they seem:

  • Expenses that were once considered necessary evils such as trade show presences or rote, me-too advertising because everyone is doing it, need to be analyzed from a break-even perspective,” says John Kulisek, a vice president for Norben Import Corp., which imports silk flowers and seasonal novelties. “Just because it has been the status quo in your industry does not mean your company needs to follow the herd to the slaughterhouse.
  • Executing the same type of effort towards the sales organization‟s expenses can have a similar and positive effect.

Adjust the Sales Process Accordingly
According to your findings, seek to redefine the organization‟s sales process. Changes in technology, expenses, and employees must occur within the scheme of the sales process. Thus, for change to be effective you must follow through on necessary changes to the sales process. Once the sales process is maximized in its efficiency and productivity, find ways to adjust the process accordingly.

In rightsizing, sales training articles stress that the importance of not necessarily cutting down or letting go of resources. You don‟t need to get rid of employees or reduce expenses. Rather, rightsizing and cost-sizing methods allow you to realign all types of resources in order to mesh with the sales process.

Immediate Action
In order for the business sales training research performed on the sales process to be effective, action must be taken in all forms. Don‟t haste into bad decisions, but act immediately in order to reap the rewards of rightsizing and cost-sizing your sales organization.

According to Barry Moltz, author of Bounce! Failure, Resiliency and the Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success, one must “Cut costs now even if revenue has not gone down… No small business owner has ever regretted cutting costs too soon.” Immediate action will reap positive rewards for your sales organization. Act as quickly as possible to improve your organization‟s efficiency and numbers.

Communication and Reevaluation
Chicago sales training speakers and those across the world are aware of fragile morale within an organization, especially when major alterations are taking place. Thus, this is why sales training articles stress communication in moments when changes occur.

Ensure your employees and managers are aware of the changes taking place and the reasons why. You want them to be with you, and a loss of productivity is inevitable if they are not aware or on board to these changes. Meetings, memos, and informational sessions can help curb a negative reaction and increase communication in an important moment like this.

Sales and marketing training methods have shown effectiveness in the communication and reevaluation within an organization. Sales training articles have recommended focus groups, which effectively change the process from the start to the end. Have important members of the organization brainstorm on changes to increase productivity and help with numbers. Additionally, these strategies can help reevaluate the changes taking place and point at new methods.

Maintaining the Efficient Sales Process
The sales team training methods presented here should always be taking place within the changes to the sales process. Analyzing the changes and the effectiveness of them can be instrumental in measuring their effects, and creating new objectives and alterations.

Make sure you identify the needs of the sales organization on a consistent basis. Again, you don‟t need to eliminate resources, employees, and other assets. In fact, you may not even need to cut down on spending. Businesses are buying, yet the businesses that rightsize and cost-size the organization are doing these things in a smarter way. They are identifying and acting on more efficient products, and making their employees more effective in various ways.

Sales training articles have spread the benefits of rightsizing and cost-sizing. These methods offer instrumental methods to shifting all types of resources to add productivity and efficiency in the sales process. Keep analyzing and making changes where appropriate to maintain the efficient sales process, and to improve it.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)

How to Predict Positive Sales Outcomes Through the Use of
CRM

By Doug Dvorak

Customer relationship management (CRM) is becoming a force in business sales training and in the general business world. Sales training articles have seen CRM methods greatly rising in all different sizes of businesses, from small businesses to large firms and organizations. Sales team training methods have stressed the importance of well-designed CRM implementation, which is vital in being able to predict positive sales outcomes.

What is CRM?
CRM is a strategy used to transform the business sales team training methods and operations to manage and nurture the way the business interacts with customers and prospects. While it is not necessarily a technological term, it involves many technological components that arrive at sales and marketing training methods, as well as others. CRM learns about the customers and uses technology and resources to improve sales outcomes and efficiency.

Benefits of CRM
Business sales training methods have used CRM to improve Chicago sales training methods and those around the world. Businesses enjoy benefits that range through the spectrum of business efficiency through expenses and productivity. According to destinationCRM.com, there are a significant number of benefits businesses dramatically (2-21-2002):

  • CRM is best suited to help businesses use people, processes, and technology gain insight into the behavior and value of customers. This insight allows for improved customer service, increased call center efficiency, added cross-sell and upsell opportunities, improved close rates, streamlined sales and marketing processes, improved customer profiling and targeting, reduced costs, and increased share of customer and overall profitability.
    Relative to sales outcomes, CRM allows businesses to target users in their target area. As technology and the sales team training methods from CRM allow the business to reach and keep track of these items, positive sales outcomes are achieved with this mindset, dedication, and technology to cater to customers‟ needs.

Deciding on Change
Your sales team training members and business members of your organization must agree on change. Regardless of whether you already have a CRM initiative in place or not, developing or re-evaluating CRM implements can drastically alter your success and allow you to predict positive sales outcomes.

Sales and marketing training methods have demonstrated the successes of CRM. In order for you and your business to find success with a new initiative, everyone must be on board. From the top of the business structure to every sales training speaker in the business, every employee must be in sync with change occurring.

Take the time to address how a change or implementation of CRM can alter your business landscape. If you and your sales and marketing training group agree that it will be productive, make sure everyone is aware of what CRM can do for the business. Sales training articles have demonstrated success in the introduction or altering of CRM.

Choosing the Right Technology
Predicting positive sales outcomes is nearly equivocated with choosing and using the right technology for CRM. Web-based CRM technologies with limited features and a lower price point aren‟t able to predict positive sales outcomes with dynamics of larger businesses. Likewise, technology that encompasses too many sets of data that is not relevant to the business will drastically pervert the predicted sales outcomes.

Sales training articles on CRM technology stress how the technology must be aligned to the business‟s needs. The product‟s specific features and usability must be considered when searching for the correct CRM technology for the business. Truly there are many involved dynamics where CRM technologies differ; it is important that these are carefully identified and ordered in preference.

Familiarize yourself with the many dynamics in CRM technology available. Don‟t settle on requirements needed in your choices for CRM products. Additionally, never purchase a CRM product without a trial period. Most products allow for three to six months for testing the features and seeing how it can integrate and improve your business. Take advantage of this and see how well the technology is able to predict sales outcomes.

Customer Data
One of the most important roles in positive sales outcomes is in the use of customer data. Sales training articles place an enormous value on the role of customer data. Other than the standpoints of general business efficiencies, CRM resources tap into the customer data in order to improve sales outcomes.

Relevant Information
Business sales training, when combined with CRM methods, are invaluable at producing results in the sales world. As customers are analyzed and targeted in CRM technologies, CRM sales training methods allow the business to develop more meaningful and effective relationships with customers.

One of the first things learned in business sales training is this: know your customer. This is perhaps one of the most, if not the most, important item to know in sales. It never ceases in importance, yet it can be seen in full scope, from a one-on-one sale to the integration of a high-priced CRM product.

The CRM product must be aware of critical data regarding your customers and potential customers. If this is not optimized at its maximum, you will be unable to accurately predict sales outcomes. Effective CRM technologies will help the business predict positive sales incomes, but it must be appropriate for the business and maintain accurate customer data.

What kind of data will be used and how it will be used are the two focal questions for your sales team training in the implementation of CRM methods. This will have a profound impact on how well sales outcomes are made. Understanding and making use of customer data and trends are just as important in the sale and in your CRM product.

Execution
Don‟t rush into the immediate execution of the CRM product. Sales training articles have reported varying time framed in order to figure out what needs to be automated, from a few weeks to a year or more. The sales team training members and analysts should carefully identify this process within the system in order to ensure efficiency and results.
With a carefully implemented CRM initiative, positive sales outcomes will be able to be seen. However, the implementation of the initiative will take a great deal of time and focus in order to ensure accurate results in sales outcomes, and ultimately in the initiative‟s success.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)

How to Master the Art and Science of Consultative Selling!

By Doug Dvorak

Sales training speakers, as well as other individuals in the sales world, are often confused as to what is a consultative salesperson. They may know when they find one, yet it is difficult for many to describe what it truly means. Sales training articles that properly describe the term pinpoint consultative selling on the dialogue that takes place between the customer and the seller. In order to achieve this, one must prepare himself or herself for this important interaction that takes place.

Become an Expert with Your (and Other) Services or Products
Sales skills training will teach you to know your product. When you think about it, how can you expect to sell something if you do not know what it is, or how it will affect some aspect of your customer‟s needs? The products or services you sell must be able to fit into your customer‟s needs, which means that it is vital that you are aware of how it will do this.

In all industries, and especially in certain ones, motivational sales training should incorporate a thorough knowledge of the competitor‟s products and services. Potential customers will be comparing your services or products to others in the market. Sales training which incorporates an important tenet of consultative selling, in understanding the customer‟s needs, assumes an understanding of the competitor‟s offerings, in addition to your own to be successful.

Show Enthusiasm

Motivational sales training is based in showing enthusiasm for one‟s products or services. Chicago sales training consultants and those around the world understand that enthusiasm will help sell a product or service. This confidence in your offered products or services will seek to transfer to the customer. You will also be able to build trust as well.
Build a Relationship with the Customer
Sales training stresses the salesperson to customer relationship, for good reason. Potential clients that are seeking what you have to offer will be looking for a level of assistance and knowledge. Thus, they must be able to respect what you have to say.

Consultative selling is about selling to his or her needs, as covered in the next section. If you are to prove this to the customer, a positive relationship must be built. Communication skills will help you build this relationship, such as enthusiasm, honesty, and trustworthiness. Sales team training will stress all of these important dynamics, which form a huge portion in the “supplementary” features of consultative selling. That is, those qualities which separates successful and other consultative salespeople.
Understand the Customer‟s Needs
According to sales training articles, if you are to define the difference that consultative selling brings to the sales world in a phrase or sentence: it would include selling to the customer‟s needs. This is the fundamental difference, whereas other conventional salespeople will present what they have to offer in a similar fashion.

Preparation
Sales skills training methods understand the important value of preparation when it comes to consultative selling, something that occurs before the actual selling process. Before you approach a customer, gather data from the prospect. With this info you will be able to customize your products and services to offer something that will fit his or her needs.

Chicago sales training consultants will utilize market researchers, accountants, underwriters, and analysts to make an informed reach to their consumers, in larger businesses. This is exactly what needs to occur, regardless of the scope or sales team training available to you. Whether it is the individual salesperson or a large and diversified team, preparation is key for any type of consultative selling.

Ask Questions
Consultative sales training people will demonstrate the value of asking questions in this type of sales method. In fact, along with customized solutions, which is covered in the next section, and an interactive conversation, these three essences are often what makes consultative selling what it is, according to consultative sales training articles.

You must be able to understand the customer‟s needs and their interactions with you to sell your products and services. A well-versed Chicago sales training consultant will ask as many questions as possible in order to make these offers and to identify what the customer is looking for. Use questions to your advantage in order to gain insight; you may also find it helping you to build a meaningful business relationship with your clients as well.

Offer Appropriate Solutions
Consultative sales training consultants end the mastering of the art and science to offering an appropriate solution to your customer. This is the true end to the consultative sales process. Of course, you may need to revise your offer if it is not what the customer needs or desires, which will take you back to other parts of the process, yet this remains the proper end of the process. And if it is done properly, you should have success in your consultative sales endeavors.

Offer what you can to help the customer with his or her needs. Recognized sales coaching institutes acknowledge the offering of appropriate products or services to the customer‟s needs, only if they fit with the customer. If you cannot do this, it is important to keep the positive relationship intact. Offer what you can for the customer and help them find what they need. In the long run this will be better for you and the customer. You will demonstrate your helpfulness, which will be much more likely to give you return customers in some way, such as word of mouth, or a customer returning for a new and different need that you can satisfy.

Talking with (Not to) the Customer
Consultative sales training will teach you that the process is not about guiding the customer, but rather the customer guiding you to offer them something that they need. This means that you must solve their problem, not blindly offer something that they may or may not need or want.

Tom Daly of BestFit Solutions states this in terms of numbers: “The RIGHT answers, if you want to leave the pack behind are: you should be spending at least 80% of your time talking about how to solve their real problem . . . and less than 20% of the time talking about you or your product/service.” Perhaps Chicago sales training consultants and sales and marketing training people around the globe should adhere to this general guideline to find success in consultative selling.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)

5 Sales Strategies to Improve Sales Effectiveness

By Doug Dvorak

Sales and marketing training methods have identified an unlimited amount of sales strategies to improve sales effectiveness. Sales training articles have identified a number of methods to do just this. These five sales strategies will span some of the most essential steps to improving sales effectiveness. Soon you will be able to see success and growth in your sales and business endeavors.

Identify Your Target Customers
There are few things worse in sales than to be trying to sell something to the wrong person. It can be perfect for someone‟s needs; however, not everyone will fit into this category. To market and prospect to customers who are not in this category, or do not display a certain need, would drastically undermine the efficiency of your attempts.

Business sales training lessons stress the importance of identifying your market. Identify what your product is about, including who it will most likely assist, what need it remedies, and if it may be marketed out of your region. Use the same approach with any applicable services you are offering.

Sales is as much about knowing your product and who your target customers are than the actual sales process. The two most important categories in this identification process are in the target customer category and in regards to location. However, don‟t stop there. Sales training articles will inform you of the importance of knowing much deeper specifics regarding your customers. Sales training also stresses how your products and services may interact with potential customers.

Obtain and Follow Through on Leads
If you want to grow your business and sales efforts, you must be able to reach out to obtain a significant number of leads. It has been said that sales is not a numbers game, but a percentage one. Business sales training statistics reveal how effective methods directed at the right market will obtain success. The more leads and potential customers you have, the better your growth potential.

Bookstores, libraries, and the Internet overflow with valuable sales training articles on how to market and obtain leads. Motivational sales training individuals and business also stress various ways to find your potential customer base.

Utilize traditional and online marketing methods to effectively reach your audience. One method may be preferable, most likely based on the location of the product or services you offer. Free methods exist as well; Facebook alone has 350 million active users around the world. Online social communities offer additional opportunities for smart salespeople to find customers.

Take advantage of free and paid opportunities to get your product in the eyes of your market. If applicable, your sales team training force can utilize some of the newer methods at obtaining more potential customers. Regardless of the case, obtain as many leads as possible and follow through on your leads, as seen in couple of examples in subsequent sections within this article.

Use Prime Selling Times
As seen in the previous point, the more customers you contact and are exposed to your products and services, the more likely you will be able to find success and improved effectiveness in your sales endeavors. When using more traditional methods such as telephone calls to certain buyers or clients, there becomes a lack of regards to administrative work and selling times.

Sales Training Consultancy, a sales training institute in the United Kingdom, has recommended a prime selling time. This scheme seeks to combine administrative work by using it at times less convenient for your customers, so that you are more likely to successfully contact your customers:.

  • 9:00-9:30: Administrative Work
  • 9:30-12:00: Prime Selling Time
  • 12:00-1:00: Lunch
  • 1:00-2:00: Administrative Work
  • 2:00-4:30: Prime Selling Time
  • 4:30-5:30: Administrative Work

Of course this likely won‟t be what you will want to model exactly; many businesses and salespeople should mix Internet-based methods as well. However the point is to contact customers when they are more likely to be able to talk. If you are reaching customers at the correct times that are in your target audience, you are setting yourself up for improved sales effectiveness from a crucial point in business sales training.

Master Consultative Selling
Business sales training methods have produced results with consultative selling methods. Consultative selling sells to the customer‟s needs, by identifying what the customer is looking for and establishing a dialogue. Consultative selling uses motivational sales training methods to provide each customer with a unique and adaptable experience, by providing customized recommendations.

Sales and marketing training experts will tell you that part of consultative selling is based in the actual interaction between the salesperson and customer, beyond that of the actual selling. The key is to build rapport and a positive relationship with the customer. Show enthusiasm, ask questions, and try to develop an understanding of the customer‟s needs.

The most important step is to offer appropriate solutions for your customer. Utilize your sales team training, if applicable, to present solutions that can make a difference for the customer. Always do your best to provide this level of service to the customer. It will go a long way at building an honest relationship with a customer or business. Even if you can‟t solve a customer‟s needs, helping them in any way you can will do a lot for your business or sales objectives. Customers will refer others to businesses with this level of service.

Utilize Current and Potential Customers
Don‟t forget about your current customers in your sales team training scheme and personal sales initiatives. You may be surprised how current customers can recommend your services or products to other people and businesses they know. A business‟s sales management consultant could recommend your services to businesses they serve after committed service on your end.

Sales team training methods have proved how current customers can return and additionally bring more potential customers. Potential customers who enjoy your services or products are great for word-of-mouth marketing as well. Provide the same committed services to both sets, and don‟t be afraid to follow up. Your sales efficiency will rise drastically with quality service and products, and marketing schemes within current customers as well.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)

Building Your Own Brand for Baby Boomers- Utilizing
Outlets on the Internet

By Doug Dvorak

Those who are not accustomed to the benefits of social marketing outlets, as well as a well-designed website, can learn how to effectively utilize these mediums. They offer instrumental means to developing your business or business-related efforts. If you are a baby boomer looking for a way to jumpstart business, social media sites and your own website can capture your audience and promote your brand.

Social Websites and Networks
Social networks are a perfect way to provide exposure to your brand. As stated by the social networking information website, Dosh Dosh: “It is a strategic and methodical process to establish your influence, reputation and brand within communities of potential customers, readers or supporters (from Social Media Marketing in a Nutshell).” Its importance is difficult to underestimate in building your own brand efforts.

Presence
Facebook alone has 350 million active users around the world. YouTube, Twitter, and other websites also have powerful numbers that demonstrate their ability to reach an unlimited audience. Additionally, other options exist for gaining exposure for your brand. There are numerous online forums that offer great opportunities for Baby Boomers at capturing potential customers within your niche. You can find potential customers on these platforms effectively and rather quickly.

Cost
Forums and certain social networking tools are free. You could take the time to build relationships with potential customers on a large number of platforms with no cost. And in this regard, truly what you get out of it is what you put in.
On the other side, social networking websites offer great opportunity in regards to paid advertising for Baby Boomers looking to make some extra cash. For instance, Facebook offers targeted marketing. Location, age, sex, keywords, education, workplace, relationship status, relationship interests, and languages are all able to be targeted. With this level of capability and their already established presence, you could definitely find some success with reasonably-priced advertising on Facebook. Other options can also be effective depending on your needs, which make great choices for Baby Boomers.

Activity
The most important step is to be active on the social networking mediums and forums. Regardless of advertising money and budget, try to be as active as possible in reaching your targeted customer base. Building relationships and getting your brand name on popular mediums will allow success to be seen in your business endeavors.
The Baby Boom Entrepreneur, in its article entitled “Can Baby Boomers Use Facebook for Marketing Their Small Business?” makes an excellent point, from one of its users, Dan Hocking:

  • One thing that is worth considering though; if you can get young users interested in your business through Facebook, it’s likely to be spread rapidly, so that when they do really get into your target, you have a solid base to work off of with little expense to be had. If you’re willing to wait a bit for results, the pay-off could be worth it.
    Truly Baby Boomers can utilize the audience available at Facebook and other social networking websites and forums.

Your Business Website
Your website should be effective at capturing the attention of your customers. It should also be strong in its content, from informational articles to any applicable sales that can be done online. Finally, never ignore the power of social networking, even on your website.

Design
Ensure your website can effectively capture the interest of current and potential customers. A clean website with effective images and writing can do wonders for the business, and can additionally set you apart from the competition. It is also important to take advantage of interaction with your customers. Anything from simply being able to converse with your customers by way of comments on posts, to a fully-fledged forum on your website can establish dialogue between you or your company and customers.

Sales
Businesses that offer products of any kind must take advantage of this on its website. If you offer any services of any kind, it is important to establish this on your website and allow customers to purchase products or services. Anything from tangible products to a one-hour session for photographers should be available to your customers.
Having this ability will allow you to streamline the sales of your business. It will also allow you to directly market your products or services on your website and social networks. When the customer is able to purchase products or services on the website, there is a much better chance of making the sale if it can be done, as opposed to the customer going the extra step in a physical store, for instance. Baby Boomers should take the extra effort in order to create success in the future with these methods.

Content
Your website should have informational articles related to your products or services. This is sometimes overlooked, as some businesses obviously cater to selling their products or services. However, include informational articles in and surrounding your niche. This will allow customers to become more knowledgeable regarding what your products and services have to offer. Also, it will create loyalty, as a business that offers valuable information is able to be trusted more than others who do not offer such information.
Perhaps most importantly, search engines will capture your articles and drive traffic to your website. Potentially interested customers will find your articles, and thus your website and its products and services.

Social Networking
Underestimating the power of social networking is always something to avoid, and in this case it is no exception. In building your website or in its alterations, don‟t forget to include social networking capabilities. Making your website friendly to these networks will allow you to increase exposure with your website and its relationships to these networks.
ShareThis is a perfect example of one implementation that can bridge your website to social networking sites. The product allows users to share a post on a website of over 40 services. For instance, if one of your customers enjoys a recent sale your website has posted, he or she may hover the mouse over the ShareThis button. Then the user may increase the article‟s visibility on a significant number of social mediums, as well as e-mail and bookmarking services.
Having dynamics such as these offers an important element in marketing. As you develop an important customer base, your customers will be more than willing to share posts and items they find interesting on your website. Thus, your customers will be marketing for you. This will certainly drive traffic to your site and increase your success.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)

How to Leverage Facebook for Sales & Marketing Success – A 5 Step Process

By Doug Dvorak

Facebook is one of the most popular social networking websites on the internet today. With a very large audience, Facebook offers unlimited potential for sales and marketing success. Follow these steps to grow your business on Facebook.

  1. Business Profile
    Update your business profile with up to date information. It should describe what your business is about and the products or services it provides. Also, make sure you include the business for your website.

    If you have other members of your business, put them into your business profile. This will enable other members of your business to spread word of it to possible consumers who may be interested in your products or services. You want to allow your business to reach as many consumers as possible.

  2. Engage in Groups
    Facebook offers an unlimited number of groups based on a wide variety of topics and interests. These groups allow you to target related areas of your business. Look for groups to join in which users who belong to these groups would possibly be interested in your products.

  3. Events and Posts
    Facebook has a feature where you could post events for your business. Take advantage of this by scheduling events in which your fans (the term Facebook uses for people who follow your business) could attend. You could use this to provide a special sale in which customers could attend. This can also work for “online only” events. You could announce the starting date of a time and provide a link to a product at a special price. This could enhance the traffic to your site and the sales of your product.
  4. Also, keep your fans updated regarding your business. If you have articles and posts about your business, you could simply link to your website on your Facebook page. Choose a method which works best for you. You should be updating your Facebook page on a consistent basis to keep your fans up to date regarding your business.

  5. Don’t Always “Sell”
    One of the worst mistakes you can do on Facebook, or any other social networking platform, is to always try to directly sell products or services. People don‟t want to be constantly bombarded by advances from a business.

    Develop relationships with those in groups. You don‟t want to keep throwing your product out there after every post you make. Begin by writing well-informed posts and responses to help other people or to contribute knowledge. Answer a few questions and get involved. This will allow others to see you and your business in a positive light. This will also expose users to your business in a more natural way. As they become more comfortable with you and get to know you and your business, they will naturally see what you have to offer. Also, they will be less likely to immediately disregard what you are selling when you do advertise and sell in your posts.

    While you shouldn‟t always sell your product or services, you should be aware of when to sell. Once you have developed a relationship with your customers, don‟t be afraid to tell them about your new products or services, or to keep them updated with your business. Post occasional news items regarding your business in the groups you are a member of, and always keep the Facebook page of your business updated.

    In addition to timely selling, it is important to keep customers interested. One great way to do this is to host specials on Facebook. You could even try placing exclusive Facebook discounts for your products or services on your Facebook page or in the groups. This would stimulate interests and sales for your business. Also, the consumer base will be more likely to grow if you post specials and deals in which your customers would be interested.

  6. Paid Advertising
    With Facebook‟s unlimited potential due to their high volume, it is worth considering paid advertising on Facebook. Facebook offers amazing potential and powerful ad systems.

    One of Facebook‟s most powerful features is its ability to target users. Advertisers can now target users based on a wide variety of filters: location, age, birthday, sex, keywords, education, workplaces, relationship, interested in, languages, and connections. This will allow you to target who could be likely to be interested in your product or services. This is especially useful for those who have business which cater to very specific demographics.

    You can also track how well your ad is performing. Clicks, click through rates (CTR), actions, action rates, and more can be tracked by Facebook‟s functionality to produce custom reports for your ads. Make sure you are aware of how your ads are doing and adjust accordingly. This is also a great way to test out Facebook‟s ad system to see if you should invest more money. Remember to start out with a reasonable test amount to get a more accurate reading of ad performance, though.

    If you decide to use Facebook‟s paid advertising system, keep your goals in mind. Carefully target users who would be interested in your product, and use your financial resources wisely. Never over target customers. The most important thing to do is to develop interest in your product or services and then build these relationships. Then you will be able to sell to this customer base. Also, keep track on the resources that you are used and compare them to other paid advertising methods you are using, if applicable. You will then be able to evaluate whether Facebook is a good way to advertise your services or products your business offers.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)

The Tweet Tweet Success of Twitter – A 5 Step Process to
Achieve More

By Doug Dvorak

Twitter has become one of the fastest growing social networking websites. With an increasing audience, Twitter also represents one of the best ways to expand your business and attract clients. Follow these five steps to enhance your business on Twitter.

  1. Find Users in Your Area
    One of the best ways to draw clients toward your business is to actually find them on Twitter. Begin by searching for users where you or your business is located. If you follow users in your area, they may be more inclined to follow you. Once you achieve these relationships you will be able to expose those in your area regarding your business.

    Try to find people in your area each day. Over time you will find your list of followers grow over time. As you obtain a relationship with some of your followers, this will mean good things for your business. Your followers will be able to stay updated on the latest events in your business.

  2. Tweet
    As your base of followers grows, you will need to keep them up to date with what is happening in your business. Keep them updated relatively often with new products and developments in your business, and whatever else is important. Mention anything that could increase interest or help your business grow, whether that means describing new products or developments.

    Make sure to provide links to your company‟s website on a consistent basis. If consumers are able to purchase products from there this will be a great way to point them to what you are selling.

  3. Stay Active – But Don’t Overdo It
    It is very important to keep an active online presence on Twitter for your business. As products and key developments are represented on Twitter, you keep a degree of professionalism intact by keeping your client base updated on your business.

    In addition to your tweets regarding your business, you also need to actively keep in touch with your client base. This is maintained in two ways, by your tweets and on your clients‟ profiles. Not all of your tweets should be about your business. Use a few tweets to do something off-topic. Tell your clients something about your life to allow them to get to know you. They will feel much more comfortable interacting with you and your business if they get to know you better. Also, interact with your followers on their profiles. Take interest with what they are tweeting about in order to develop a relationship with them. Once again, they will feel more comfortable with you if you attempt to develop a relationship on more than just business.

    It is also vital that you don‟t overdo your activity on Twitter. Your clients will stop following you if they are bombarded with too many tweets of any kind. You don‟t want to annoy your customers. Try not to post too many updates on your profile. It may be a good idea to look at other businesses to see how often they update their profile. At any rate, take care not to overwhelm your client base.

  4. Characteristics of Your Tweets
    There are a number of important characteristics in which your tweets should portray your business. In order to portray and enhance your business, follow these guidelines to keeping your customers up to date and in order to find new potential clients.

    One way to optimize your tweets is to use hash tags. These are done by using the pound sign (#) before your tag. Use these on important terms unique to your business to draw attention. For instance, you could use a hash tag when introducing a new product.

    Use links when tweeting. A link to the website of your business should be in your profile – so don‟t link to it constantly in your tweets. However, you should use links when you are introducing new products – especially when they can be purchased off of your website. As a consumer sees your new product‟s news and information, then he or she can click on it to learn more and possibly purchase the product. You should also use links when you describe important events or anything in which you can provide a link for additional information. In the end you want to draw as much traffic and interest to your business and the website of your business.

    Entice your followers by offering specials on Twitter. This can be a great way to generate interest into your business and on your Twitter profile. You could even hold specials only for your Twitter customers. There are endless ways to hold specials and sales, yet Twitter remains a powerful way to expose your customers to special deals and incentives.

  5. Consider Paid Advertising
    If you are considering implementing some type of paid advertising for your business, Twitter is a great way to find new clients. While the aforementioned steps will increase your client base, paid advertising can increase the acceleration of your business.

    Carefully consider some of your options on Twitter. There are reviews regarding possible advertising options on Twitter, such as Sponsored Tweets, Ad.ly, and Be a Magpie. These solutions can be just what you need to stimulate your client base.

    If you have revenue for advertising, consider using a small amount of paid advertising to enhance the free steps for advertising on Twitter. At any rate, stay consistent and carefully integrate Twitter into your business plan for maximum growth potential.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)

Why Sales Training is Essential

By Doug Dvorak

Selling is a unique profession that can be regarded both as a science and an art. Principles of sales are based on scientific rules of cause and effect. But excelling in sales or achieving super success in sales is an art form, an art form that is no less exact and precise than a master painter‟s brush strokes. Producing good music is an art form too. All most all musicians know about the basic science of musical notes but only a maestro knows how to intermingle the notes to produce great music. So is selling.

Not every trained sales person will become a super seller, but every single successful seller is trained somewhere by someone about the nuances of sales. All sales persons need to be trained to achieve their business targets. How well a sales man succeeds depends on his aptitude, the trainer‟s skills, and the training methods used. But sales training in some form or other is essential for every sales person.

Sales training can be imparted in various forms: class room training, one-on-one training, or on field training. The training method can be adjusted to the varying need of organizations and their sales team. Sales training can focus on only one aspect of sales or the entire gamut of activities related to sales. For instance, a sales team may have difficulties only in closing deals. They can benefit on sales training concentrating only on closing deals and improving that aspect of sales. A sales team hiring new sales staff would benefit from giving comprehensive sales training starting from cold calls to closing.

Senior managers and executives require as much sales training as the fresh recruits. It‟s a myth that senior managers have all the experience and hence all the knowledge and do not need any training in sales. They may be overlooking simple things, over doing certain things, ignoring certain basics of sales process, or may be completely unaware of certain latest developments in sales. Sales training for them would help them over come these problems.

Four billion dollars – that‟s how much goes in to sales training every year as reported by ES Research group in 2006. The group also found in studies that more than 90% of all sales programs lead to increased sales. An interesting finding of the research group was that nearly half of the funds spent on training go to third party sales training organizations. Surely, business owners, senior managers, and decision makers know exactly what they are doing and why they are spending money on sales training. The study also has shown that the revenues coming from sales increase by 20 percent after training. But the difference in revenues earned fizzles out after a period of six months or so.

Regular sales training helps in sustaining the gains secured from the first sales training program. This emphasizes the point that sales training is not a one off event or an annual event. It‟s an ongoing process that helps in honing the skills of the sales professionals constantly.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969

Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)

Winning the Sales Race through Sales Coaching

By Doug Dvorak

At the outset the difference between sales training and sales coaching should be made clear. Sales training prepares sales professionals and sales coaching attempts at preparing sales champions. Sales coaching is a process in which an experienced sales trainer or coach gets involved in the sales process of an organization not only within the four walls of the training hall but also on the field. A sales coach goes on to work with the sales team of an organization on the remedies he has suggested. He gets on to the war zone leading from the front. By demonstrating that what he preached in the training room can be practical the sales coach inspires sales professionals of an organization.

The aim of a sales coach is to find out how far a sales person or a group of sales persons is removed from where they should be and then bridge that gap. A fresh recruit may need coaching on implementing perfectly the things that he learnt during the sales training sessions. An executive may find that the going is getting tough after a few months of working. The initial months may have gone fine but she may find that her skills are not working as they did when she started out. And an experienced sales person may find that he was very good at notching up the numbers through referrals and repeat sales. But when the organization underwent some structural changes and he was supposed to make cold calls again to build a new prospect base, his cold calling skills that were excellent a couple of years ago are ineffective now. Getting used to easy sales through referrals and repeat sales he finds the objections and rejection indigestible. These types of sales problems can be handled by the sales coach on one-on-one basis.

From making cold calls to closing deals a sales coach may get involved in the sales process providing vital insights and suggesting changes. He will be present when you make cold calls, observing you, listening to your conversation, and making notes of various points. He will approve if your call quality was good and suggest you to continue in the same manner or he may suggest improvement wherever necessary. Whatever his suggestions, the end result should be generating more appointments and opportunities for sales presentations.

A sales coach is unobtrusive. The sales coach remains on the side line much like Phil Jackson, the famous NBA coach, and feeds the players with crucial hints and suggestion only during the time outs and breaks. If you are going in the wrong direction during a cold call the sales coach will not stop you, but let you proceed. Once the call is over he will show you where you went wrong and how best you can avoid the same mistake. A sales manager may try and interrupt to salvage the situation, but not a sales coach. And a sales coach will persist till you get it right.

Mentoring plays a vital role in sales. Outside sales coaches do a fantastic job as inside sales managers may face resistance and resentment from the sales staff. What a sales manager cannot do a sales coach can achieve that for his easy approach and acceptability by the coached.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Doug Dvorak, CEO of DMG International, is the Author of the forthcoming book “Build Your Own Brand” (Pelican, 2009)

Sales Negotiation Skills

By Doug Dvorak

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself. -Tolstoy
In any economy, learning to close the deal is a challenge for your workforce. Especially in these tough times, sales and marketing training can make the difference for your staff.

Sales coaching institutes often present negotiation as a three step process.

Step 1
Help Them Know Before They Go

Self awareness and self control are critical currencies in negotiations. Business sales training is absolutely critical in learning the art and skill of negotiation.

Knowledge is power and this begins with the salesman’s grasp of his own strengths and weaknesses. What personality traits does he possess? A sales team consultant will ask him to look closely at these characteristics. Is he hot tempered, depressive, shy, or easily distracted?

How about his patterns of social interaction? Sales training personnel encourage work candidates to consider other impediments to building buyer rapport too. Does a novice salesman prefer only the sound of his own voice, laugh a little too loudly at his own jokes, shout over another’s words, or become restless during a long conversation?
In a gentle and humorous way, motivational sales training can prove why self probing insight and honesty early on, aids your workforce to begin grasping one of the most critical rules for negotiation: self wisdom is power; the corollary follows; self knowledge gives you a private power and confidence which cannot be broken.

Some workers are oblivious or disbelieve just how their unpleasant personal presentation can make or break their future in sales. More such tough doubters often generally respond to the exciting and unflappable group energy from a motivational speaker.

Sales training speakers are here to help all comers grasp that this education will lead them to greater skills and wisdom. It can often be followed up with sales training articles which the day’s lesson.

Many novice sales people misunderstand just what character behaviors work best. They envision ruthless power brokers who either close a deal or toss it across the table and storm off if argument fails. If your staff beliefs in this gunslinger model, a strong sales speakers team has the words and wisdom to help.

Many new salesmen do no grasp that some of the toughest negotiators also have the capacity for incredible patience; such negotiators hang in there when anyone else would have given up. They can wear down the opposition, sometimes winning concessions refused at the outset. Self control is a skill which requires considerable practice.

Great negotiators truly listen and observe. These negotiators recognize when to be silent and still. For them, body language, non word cues, hesitations, awkward laughs or glances away all tell who and how is trying to shifting the power equation. A sales coaching institute has the experience to decipher these critical elements and the kills to impart their lessons.

Empathy. No, skilled closers don’t confuse negotiation with bartering, nor with conflict resolution, but they grasp that this is a session of searching for joint incentive. Negotiation involves leadership and the best leaders know how to motivate even the most reluctant recruit. Being aware of how you would feel– in your buyer’s shoes—doesn’t mean you collapse in kindness, but it does give you valuable information. Like the other traits of the skilled negotiator, empathy gives you the power of knowledge. Putting someone at their ease can build their sense of trust in you. You can anticipate how one individual might respond to a particular sales suggestion.

Empathy, being able to imagine another’s emotion and state of mind, lets you foresee the dance of the deal. Unless you are a sociopath, true empathy requires honor, compassion, and quality. Protect your reputation; it will be one of the only means to building long term client trust and faith. It is the basis of much of your own personal command and power. Sales management consulting and employee motivational speakers can be the difference in encouraging your staff to take a hard look at just what it takes to begin and develop these talents.

Empathy, and lessons it can teach, are felt to be a core need for a good salesman or negotiator. Combined with the others listed above, positive traits help avoid impediments to effective communication—without them negotiations fail before even shaking hands at the first deal. Your workforce will not pick up these attitudes by osmosis. A sales coaching institute has the experience and an employee motivational speaker has the inspiration punch to persuade your staff to sit up and take note.

Sales team training provides a caveat.
Believe in yourself and act like you do so. In sports, visualizing a positive race, picturing a series of perfect pitches, or envisioning the swish of your three point only net shot, a has been known to impact a competition by as much as twenty percent. This is a number which a sales professional considers as well. Having done the hard homework, see the sales scene before it happens. Envisage yourself speaking calmly, responding well to all questions or challenges, knowing when to offer non monetary incentives and picture a great close to the deal. It’s not a replacement for hard work, but can this technique can feed your subconscious the poise which translates into triumph.
A sales management consultant is key as they will help you learn to practice with fellow salesmen, recording your own voice, and speaking before a mirror.

The sales training may also have an employee verbally review or informally and anonymously test their grasp of the company product line; this can aid memorization greatly. All the confidence in the world won’t help staff unless they know the product backwards and forwards and believe in it just as much as you believe in yourself. Is your product unique? Does the buyer have no other option? If so, you stand ready to position yourself much more strongly and your workers understand it.

Read, ask, and learn all you can about your company too. You cannot venture out on even the simplest sales call without knowing your company’s bottom line for each deal. A bottom line is a number, value, condition which—if you cannot achieve—dooms you from further negotiating unless you are very, very good at bluffing. If you return from a sales call having achieved less than a bottom line, prepare to leave with your hat in your hand, your company would have wished you had walked away from such a ‘deal’.

An aside here, deals are rarely closed in such a formal setting as a sit down table meeting, such a term is shorthand for the ways and places deals really do close: while hosting your buyer at an event, following up a series of faxed pitches, or even flash negotiations after a cold call.

Step 2
The Action Heats Up

Negotiations involve subtle leadership which lead the buyer to feel satisfied he has joined the winning team. You are not here to swap proposals.

Before your salesman walks into negotiations, he must analyze his sales pitch carefully. He should be well aware that the first thing the buyer will try to do is negotiate over price. As a subtle leader, this is the last aspect he should enter into discussion. Does your salesman grasp this?

One tactic, one sales coaching institute offer is to encourage negotiators to consider whether an option or addition exists for your employee to pre introduce to your current proposal that which can then be revoked as a gesture of cost reduction?

A sales and marketing training team can relay just what you want your novice force to grasp. Their motivational speakers can put your salesmen right in the scene:

Before you walk in, determine whether you can adjust upward what your price pitch will be without ruining the negotiation. If they sit through this marked up proposition, you have additional leverage for other concessions. The growth your employee has made through sales management training is now serving him in good stead. While most parties understand what is about to occur, you may have to initiate this stage without a clear invitation from a buyer.

Once your salesmen get to this level, they are often requesting business sales training themselves. They are no longer reluctant learners, but are grateful for the education you are providing them. Some of the following language will now also include their interests and hopes for more sales Training Speaking.

Once a salesman has engaged with the other company, he should not get take discussions lightly. He are representing your company now and he must be are fully prepared for serious and potentially lengthy negotiations. A worker can’t walk off the field because he’s tired, hungry, or bored. Worst of all guard against this time when you are most likely to rationalize taking a poor deal

Be careful the negotiator for the company is talking to the right people. A worker does not want to negotiate” for some time only to be told that his listener doesn’t have permission to negotiate.

Let your worker know, his concessions may pretend to seem dragged out as this helps his audience save face and feel it is their turn to ‘compromise’. In actuality no adjustments are off the cuff but preplanned and prioritized to the fullest extent possible.

These are just a few of the tactics sales skills training can make second nature for your company’s sales recruit.

Step 3
Make Your Leadership Count, Closing Time

Both your employer and you have benefited from your new found knowledge. Motivational Sales Training has helped you really reexamine yourself and be open to a new way of understanding negotiations.

Just as your company have a bottom line, realize your opponent or client buyer has one as well. If the salesman pushes his buyer him past this bottom line, he loses any chance for the deal. Sales Management Training teaches your employees how to manage such an event.

Look for signs the buyer is getting close ready to crash the whole deal. Is he getting irritable, trying to stall the process, or rehashing items he previously accepted? To make this deal succeed, keep the buyer close but not over the edge. Let him close graciously and save face. He may not even be fully aware of his relief, believing instead he has done well. Such good will engendered builds trust in you as a leader and in your company as a whole. If the negotiations are satisfactory, don’t linger. This is not an idle chat. Making the sales final can ace out your competition, show you honor and respect your opponent’s time, and further

On the other hand, if you don’t like the way things are going, try wresting leadership back with silence. Pausing, letting nothing escape from you, often freezes listeners and makes others uncomfortable. This hush lets them know you are displeased and nor not letting negotiations proceed. Much of this depends on your market strength and penetration; will they have to play with you or risk hurting themselves? If so, and negotiations are unsuitable, halt the meeting or indicate you need time away to consider.

Companies rise and fall based on their sales staff strength or weakness in negotiations. Developing proficiency in the complex task and art of this true basis of all sales is enhanced by sales training consultants who can provide a stable of services including motivational speakers, sales training articles, and sales management consultant. The depth and breadth of such help may include personality interviews, practice sessions, negotiation walk through and follow up assessment, education of negotiation and leadership techniques. Mastery of negotiation skills is a profound education;

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Sales 2.0 – The New Contact Sport

By Doug Dvorak

The introduction of Sales 2.0 onto the internet allows a much more efficient way to capture consumers and the targeted audience of your business or organization. With sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and other social platforms, businesses are able to capture a seemingly unlimited target audience for their offered products and/or services. Once these tools and opportunities are understood, more traditional methods of sales are improved upon and complemented with the introduction of technology.

In the more traditional methods of advertising and selling, cost and effectiveness are undermined. Methods such as phone calls, snail mail, and in-person prospecting are all inefficient methods to market and sell business products and services. The cost for these services can be daunting: for instance, professional newsletters in print in electronic form are costly, from design to production. Additionally, these advertising products must be done at a high level for them to capture the interest of the buyer, who is certainly accustomed to the traditional approaches from advertisers.

Additionally, more traditional methods of sales and marketing undermine the manpower of a business. This inefficiency in cost overlooks the aforementioned blow to financial support of a business in respect to direct costs, with the impact of employee-related cost. As these more traditional methods of business are carried out, the costs of the business are hampered more prominently in the time that is spent with these methods. As evident in the area of telephone marketing, for instance, an employee‟s time is severely hampered by the ineffectiveness of the method. The direct costs of the traditional methods thus see relevance only after the indirect cost impact of wasted time.

These drawbacks of traditional methods of business marketing and selling of direct and indirect costs create the focal drawback of inefficiency. When business resources are depleted on these two lines of advertising and selling costs, and costs of employee-related time, these strategies cause the business to be highly inefficient. The business must thus make up for these ineffective approaches to selling and marketing business products and services.

The inefficiency of traditional methods of sales and marketing can be remedied with Sales 2.0 tools. With respect to the first mark of sales inefficiency, Sales 2.0 tools are much more cost-efficient. In fact, a significant number of tools and networks online can be used for no cost. To take this point a little further, these networks can also be used for paid advertising, which would place a significant advantage over other less-directed methods of paid advertising, which will be covered. With the second point of sales inefficiency, Sales 2.0 tools provide a way to provide value to the time related to manpower. As the audience is able to be reached online, the restrictive element to traditional methods of advertising and marketing are replaced with unlimited potential with respect to the targeted audience.

With Sales 2.0 tools, the audience is virtually unlimited. One of the widest sources of audiences in the Sales 2.0 approach is present in social networks on the internet. Sites such as MySpace and Facebook offer a high visibility with possibilities within the specialized communities and groups formed within these networks. With some care these groups may be utilized for links to the product or service provided from relevant companies. However, it is important to build rapport. Users will be aware of “blanketing‟ attempts at getting exposure for a product or service.

Within these communities another level of specialized communities are present. Particular to the industry, almost anywhere on the internet specific communities, forums, and informational sites pertaining to the industry are present. Digital photography, for instance, would have a significant audience present in forums devoted to reviews, advice, and enthusiasts on digital photography. Similar to the user-created groups on Facebook and MySpace, this level is strongly relevant to the target, and can be reached for no money. Or, at the very least, advertising space could be purchased to increase visibility in the direct user market.

Additionally, other online services can be monumental in article marketing. Websites such as Linkedin, Digg, Propeller, and StumbleUpon allow users exposure to many different websites based on popularity. Websites such as these illustrate another way in which exposure isn‟t substituted with cost. These popular websites charge nothing to potentially allow a large amount of traffic to come across marketed articles.

These particular social communities are also able to be complimented with more effective paid strategies. For instance, the paid website HubSpot allows business of all sizes to be found on search engines, lined-to from blogs and written on on social media services. A company such as this could put the resources of a business to good use. However, whether using a service such as this or building an effective website for your business, it is important to take advantage of Sales 2.0 tools on every platform, from SEO tools to Facebook integration.
With Sales 2.0 tools which allow a business to reach an unlimited market of consumers and users for little to no money, theses services must be taken advantage of to compete with other retailers and businesses in the industry. Traditional methods, such as the slow and inefficient methods of telemarketing and printed advertising, need to be integrated in every aspect with these valued Sales 2.0 tools. In today‟s market no longer will the initial awareness of your product be in the live conversation between employee and consumer. Rather, the consumer today is made aware of the product on the technological front.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Dinosaur Selling – Are Your Sales Skills Extinct or Evolving?

By Doug Dvorak

We are living in a fast paced world. Technology is changing the way we lead our lives and do business. Who had thought of Twitter or You Tube five years back? Yahoo chat is almost passé. Face book and Twitter are in. Prior to the 1990s pagers were used to send quick messages. Now SMS on the mobile phones is the way to go. If talking on the mobile phone is not enough you can have video conversations on a smart phone. There is no need to fly thousands of miles to attend a conference with business associates. Cisco‟s video conferencing has facilitated real time conferencing right from your office with associates or clients in far flung places in the country and abroad.

The basics still remain the same. We still want to talk about a new car or a movie with a friend and business with associates. But the way we do it has been transformed.

The question is how much have you changed in these changing times as a person and as a sales professional? Do you use the latest sales techniques to leverage your business? Just check out how current is your sales skills? Don‟t despair if you are lagging behind. With a little effort you can catch up.

Are Your Cold Calls Hot Enough?
Do you check out a company‟s website before making cold calls? Do you check out a senior executive‟s profile on the Internet and social networking sites, if possible, before making the call? Do you try to access the direct mobile phones of key persons in addition to the company landline phones? Do you send information about your product and company to the key persons via email before or after making calls? How do you make sure that your emails do not end up in their spam boxes? Do you wait hours for the office receptionist or telephone operator to put your call through to the senior executive or do you call the concerned executive after trying once with the office operator? You can do so and save time. You can offer an apology for calling directly making their “extremely” busy office telephone your excuse for doing so.

How Do You Qualify Prospects?
Ok, so you use Excel sheets to store your list of prospects. Smart enough! But, is your data of prospects stored on your laptop and can you access them via your mobile phone just in case the need arises? Or may be your sales assistant has emailed a hot list of prospects, can you check that email with your mobile phone?

The Use of the Internet and Social Networking
As a sales professional of the 21st century you should be actively involved in networking with clients, customers, prospects, suppliers, and anybody that can improve your sales. The best place to network in today‟s world is the Internet – the social net working sites such as Face book, My Space, and Twitter. There are hundreds of networking websites related to specific activities or hobbies of its members. You should be in some of them depending on the nature of your business and the likelihood of finding your customers there.

Briefing the Customer
While meeting the customer and briefing about the product a sales person has to be specific and short. This is an age of information glut. Newspapers, magazines, books, TV channels, the Internet, mobile phones, office communications, and advertisement hoardings they are all keen on keeping us well informed. Your customer is being bombarded with information from all corners. An excess of information about the product will not register in the client‟s mind. Be selective and pass on the most pertinent info about the product. If the person you are talking to is not technically very savvy do not over present technological details.

It is better to repeat selected info many times in the meeting or demo.

Stress on Customer Service
A few decades ago all salesman had to do was sell the product and calculate his commission amount. There was no or very little thought about customer service. This is an era where purchase decisions hang on the quality of customer service that a vendor offers. When other factors such as quality of the competing products, looks, and designs remain at the same level, customer service becomes the deciding factor. Talk about your customer service to new clients and follow up with your customer service department in case an existing customer has any complaints. Make sure that the customer gets impeccable customer service.

Our sales skills must change along with the changing times and focus on the latest trends. Dinosaurs became extinct for a reason – for not evolving. If you are not following these latest sales techniques your sales skills run the risk of getting extinct. To avoid that, your sales skills need to evolve now and stay in tune with the times.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Don’t Eat Alone – How to Leverage Down Time into
Productive Selling Time

By Doug Dvorak

Here is a profound sales tip that is so easy to follow – don‟t eat alone, eat with your clients and best customers. This can dramatically change your sales turn- over, provided that you have the necessary basic etiquette and table manners. If you don‟t agree with the preceding sentences you are not disagreeing with me but showing disregard to Joe Girard – the undisputed best salesman in the world as recognized by the Guinness book of World Records.

It was one of the rules set by Joe Girard, the salesman who was rated as the number 1 salesman for 12 consecutive years in the world. Combined with other simple principles Girard sold 13,001 cars in 15 years, a record that still stands unbroken. This means he sold more than four cars a day on an average. And he sold one car at a time, not in bulk. That‟s a huge achievement.

Have Lunch/Dinner with Customers
A surprising number of deals are sealed during lunch and dinner meetings. Invest a little and invite your customer over lunch or dinner. Depending on your nature of business and the stature of the client treat him/her to a meal. Having meals together allows both you and the client to talk in a relaxed manner. The client would definitely appreciate the gesture and if he has already purchased from you, he would be glad to come back for more or give referrals. In addition to the pleasant experience, remember it‟s an investment and intended for increasing business. You should choose clients that have the potential to give you business.

Having dinner with family members is something that cannot be ignored. In fact, it is a priority. But eating out with clients can be chipped into your weekly schedule without taking away much of your valuable time together with your family. Ideally, having lunch with the customer is a good idea as it will not interfere with family togetherness considering the fact that most families find it convenient to have dinner together in comparison to lunch or breakfast in the day.

Instead of having lunch alone or with colleagues at the office everyday, a lunch with clients can help bring in better perspective and improve the way you do business. Also, such opportunities offer chances to know the client better, the food he/she likes or dislikes, and the place he/she loves to eat. This type of knowledge would pave way for a better relationship with the customer and help improve direct selling as well as selling through referrals.

Utilize Down Times Productively
Some sales people do not want to do anything related to their job when they are not working. That is their choice and if it works for them, well and good. But there are many sales professionals who are passionate about business and like to mix it with other pursuits. If you are a member of a tennis or golf club what is wrong in inviting your customer for a friendly game, given that he also has the same hobby. If you both follow the hobby with reasonable interest certainly there will be rapport when you play a friendly game or two. Chances are very good that this would translate into a single or more sales. You may end up selling to the client or persons that he refers. Even if you don‟t sell anything every time you do this, still you end up a winner as you get the opportunity to play with a new person and not with your usual tennis partner.

Using down time in sales is all about smart management of the available time. Even when you are waiting for your client to show up for lunch or a game of tennis you can call up his friends/spouse/secretary and find out what he would like or dislike. If you are very good at tennis or golf, be a little tactful and graceful. The goal of playing with the client is to win him over not win over him. Try to play a doubles match so that the client doesn‟t take a defeat too directly as it can happen in a singles match. On the contrary if the client is good, praise lavishly about his booming serve or accurate down the line returns.

There are interesting ways how you can get closer to the customer and win his confidence. Selling is an exciting job and it is always not about sales. A good sales person should pounce on such opportunities and make the most of them.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

How to Leverage Linkedin for Sales Success

By Doug Dvorak

One of the boons of the Internet is its power to boost sales. Linkedin is a formidable tool to help boost sales. Let‟s examine – how Linkedin can leverage your business success. To understand how it is possible, you must first know a bit about Linkedin. Linkedin is a business networking website that‟s designed for networking among professionals. Over 50 million professionals from around 200 countries use Linkedin to stay connected with others in the business world. Executives from all the Fortune 500 companies are members of Linkedin. Professionals that are members of Linkedin represent 170 industries. The numbers are quite convincing, aren‟t they? Now-a-days it seems almost everyone is a member of Linkedin.

The Basics
The basic idea behind Linkedin was to create a platform to connect professionals across industries to help each other in finding business solutions and reaching career goals. Like with most networking websites you need to create a profile with Linkedin. Your profile should summarize your professional expertise and accomplishments succinctly. Then you can search for names and industries and invite people to read your profile and get connected with you. You can also trace your college friends, past colleagues, and current business associates to connect with them. You can also get connected with your contacts‟ contacts.
It helps when you know where your target clients worked, where they went to school, and their hobbies. Also, you can know “who knows who”, which is a powerful tool. By going through the profiles of your clients and their contacts you can know about their educational background, career route, and hobbies; all these should help you in developing a good rapport with the target client.

Create an Impressive Profile
Remember that you are letting others to view your profile, so it better be good. Always use images that can convey strong professional messages about your brand. Use your Powerpoint business presentations in your profile. You can make your profile impressive by connecting your website and blogs to the Linkedin account. While creating the profile you should use keywords that are relevant to your industry and business. This makes you more visible in Linkedin searches.

The Smart Way to Get Connected on Linkedin
Though you can introduce yourself and your company directly to a target client its better that you take the help of someone that is close to your client. That way your chances of getting a warm response increase. Sometimes 3rd, 4th, or 5th level contacts also may work, but it‟s better to get introduced to a target client with one of your direct contacts.

Recommend and Get Recommended
Recommend people that you trust. This is a pro active approach to helping others in meeting their business goals. You become a vital link to their business. You then stand the chance of getting recommended by others as a reciprocal gesture. Ask to get recommended. Especially after doing business with a client satisfactorily ask them to recommend you on Linkedin.

Replacing Cold Calls
There are many people that do not like to receive cold calls and sales professionals have to endure the pain of facing rejections from such people. Instead of pestering people in organizations you can send Emails using your Linkedin account to people that even remotely matter to you. The success rate with this method is encouraging. Three out of ten Emails elicit responses and one out of those three responses lead to a meeting. That is usually not the case with cold calls.

Trace Your Contacts
When you are able to sell someone invite him to join your Linkedin network. If your clients leave the organizations that they worked when you sold to them you can trace where they have gone and keep selling to them.

Make Linkedin Your Homepage
The moment you open the browser you will know what others in your Linkedin network doing. You will also know who has been checking your profile. Stay in touch with your contacts. Try sending emails every week to some of your contacts. Linkedin users testify that some of these emails do turn into live opportunities.

Use Other Tools with Linkedin
Google reader very often has questions from Linkedin users. At the time of writing this article I went to Google reader with my Google account and typed “sales” in the search box. The search led to a list of queries from the Linkedin Answers page. Some of the queries are posed by buyers that are looking to really buy. If it relates to your product, you have almost found a buyer. Others are just seeking information. By answering their queries if you have the answer or simply recommending someone you know, you can at least create an opening.

These tips are based on the testimonials of Linkedin users. So the next time you get a client‟s name or business card you know what to do.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

How to Supercharge Your Sales Skills for Sales Success

By Doug Dvorak

Sales is part science and part arts. The working of the sales processes and the cause and effect relationship in consumer behavior are areas that can benefit from a scientific treatment. But selling is an art, and success in selling depends on the individual salesman. Superb selling skills can make an average product look great. A charismatic salesman can convert even the most reluctant person into a happy buyer of his products. As the oft repeated cliché in selling goes – “a top sales person can sell a refrigerator to an Eskimo.”

You also can become a top salesman by supercharging your sales skills.

Attitude is Everything
Start selling with a very positive attitude. You are not selling to make a living. You are being compensated for helping people find the right product that fits their budget and requirement. Actually the company that you work for and the product that you sell should reflect that philosophy. Neither the customer nor you are doing any favor to each other. You both are in a transaction that is convenient for both of you and is mutually beneficial.

Start your day with the thought that how many people will benefit from your product. Do not concentrate on your sales target; concentrate on how many people you can help with your product and solutions. A sales person of budget houses should think how many people with low-middle incomes she can help in finding a home. Work on people‟s needs not on your sales check.

Be assertive in your dealings. You are not above or below anybody. You are just doing your job. Keep your self esteem high. Remember, the rude and disrespectful are the ones that have a low self esteem and try to feel better by running you down. Sales is a noble profession, carry yourself in a dignified manner. There is no need to bow and scrape or feel superior. Treat your clients with respect and expect the same from them. Think like a winner and create win-win situations everywhere you go.

Remain in Peak Condition
Any person engaged in productive pursuits has to remain in peak physical and mental conditions to utilize his maximum capabilities. Exercise, meditate, and pursue any hobby that would make you relaxed and allow you to focus better at work.

Keep Your Personal Problems Away
You have to be “in the zone” when working and not let personal problems divert your attention away from the job at hand. When you are on the job everything else becomes secondary.

Hone Your Basic Sales Skills
Listen: Do you listen more or speak more? You have to listen more and listen actively to the customer. Give the customer the great feeling of having a really interested audience. Listening actively also means, you have to follow what the customer is talking about and ask pertinent questions that would show that you are really listening and draw the customer more into the subject. Agree, appreciate, and acknowledge when the customer says things that are valid. By listening intently you will understand clients‟ product needs. From there you cannot fail.

Speak Assertively: Speak with clarity and in a warm manner. Use good words and praise your client genuinely. If someone has the capacity to buy your products they must be doing something good. Speak your product‟s uniqueness and benefits in a friendly voice. Talk about the customer‟s products needs and how you can meet them. Avoid any show of disagreement. Be persuasive. If you smell a whiff of interest on the part of the clients, seize the opportunity.

Be Thorough
Have thorough knowledge about your product ranges and competing products. Do enough homework and find out all you can about your client before meeting them. Make the maximum use of technology.

Have a Positive Expectation
Have confidence in your abilities and expect that you will succeed in your profession. Visualize the pleasant feeling that comes from seeing the happiness on the part of the customer when his product related requirements are met, sealing the deal, getting the sales order, the warm and energetic handshake, the thankful smile, and the possibility of continuing further transaction.

Seal the Deal
Keep waiting for the opening to close the deal. When the time comes to close the deal do so without lingering. The buyer may change his mind or postpone the purchase. A delay could let the sale go to a competitor.

Sales success lies in the ability to pay attention to the small things. It‟s about brushing up the basics. It‟s about utilizing all your abilities to the optimum level. Sales success will be definitely yours if you work enthusiastically.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Relationship Selling – How to Network for Sales Success

By Doug Dvorak

Those that are in business for the long haul know that they need to build a steady relationship with a customer. They don‟t say good bye to a customer after selling him once. They say, “See you soon”. Relationship selling is a process spread over a long period of time and not a series of single unconnected sales. A seller of consumable items to stores knows that he will have to visit the stores again well before the stock of the items is exhausted. Unless the relationship between the seller and the buyer is good– how long does it take for the buyer to change the seller? A supplier of toiletries to a star hotel knows the value of keeping the purchase department of the hotel in good humor. Customer retention and satisfaction have become the buzzwords in customer relationship management.

A happy customer would gladly refer his friends and associates towards your product. It is possible to create a solid network of happy customers that continuously experience customer satisfaction in a virtuous circle.

How to Keep the Customer Happy
First and foremost, always supply the best quality product to the customer. Deliver on time as some businesses are particular about the timing of the arrival of the supplies, restaurants for instance. Offer the maximum possible discount to a loyal customer. As a reward for loyalty, shower gifts on the customer. Don‟t worry about the costs. It costs five times to obtain a new customer than retaining an old one. Encourage the customer to contact you in case of any problem with the product. Be prompt in offering service. Being there during the difficult times is something a customer can never forget. Personally make a visit when your product gives any trouble and check whether the service staff is attending to the complaint to take care of it. A loyal customer may not switch loyalty because of a reasonable price rise.

If the customer is happy, your door to networking swings open easily. The customer may voluntarily refer friends and associates to buy your product. Free word of mouth promotions work well. Paying a commission to your customer for each successful sale to a referred contact is a wonderful idea. This will motivate the customer to direct more buyers towards your product. Do not take the customer for granted just because you are paying commission and offering discount. Despite everything, treat the customer royally. Be thankful to the customer for doing business with you and referring new businesses to you.

Customer relationship is not about having buddy-buddy type relationship with the customer. Though in rare instances such a relationship may develop, the usual practice relationship selling is treating the customer with respect and fulfilling his product requirements.

Network Furiously
Once you have endeared yourself to a set of customers ask them for referrals and try to enter their network… Pursue them actively for referrals. Remember again that they are not obligated to give you referrals just because they are happy with your product and service. Ask politely and accept gracefully the referrals they give you. Five customers can give 20 referrals and each referral will have good chance of being a potential buyer. If you are a seller of holiday packages and have already sold to the Information Security manager of a company, you will stand a good chance of selling to other managers of the company. Also, you can take referrals of their friends that work outside the organization.

Keep all the contact details of the referred clients. Try to sell them with optimism. Do not expect that because a person has purchased his friends will also do the same from you easily. You may have to go through the sales process all over again (without the prospecting and qualifying leads steps, of course) and deal with the usual objections. But the chances of selling to them are very bright if you play it right.

Try to become a part of your customer‟s network. You must try to find out all the possible places where your customers socialize, go for recreation, send their kids for education etc. and try to develop contacts. Invite your customers to your networks, if it is appropriate. Work relentlessly to develop a vast network of people each linked to the next person with some thing in common. You will never know who will end up as a buyer or refer a buyer.

With the possibility of increasing your network endlessly you can sell endlessly. Establishing a superb relationship with every customer may not be possible. But if you establish a good rapport with every alternate customer and try to enter into their network the possibilities for selling are still endless.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Sales Economics 101 – Are you a keeper?

By Doug Dvorak

A study by Jobfox, a placement organization, states that sales and business development jobs are at the top of the list of the ten most recession- proof jobs in the country. However, this doesn‟t mean that all sales jobs are safe. Downsizing the sales department is what most organizations do when hit with a tough economic time. Even in normal economic and market conditions, the sales department is the first to face the music and heads roll when the company‟s sales do not measure up to the expected levels. Firing under-performing sales persons is very common when the sales figures fall short of the set targets. It is not always the right thing to do, but that‟s the way it has always been.

Underperformance is hardly condoned in sales and not all high performances are rewarded. Underperformance makes a sales person vulnerable to the possibility of losing the job. While it is rational and reasonable that regular poor performers will be weeded out from the sales team, sometimes managers become unreasonable and make average performers the scapegoats to cover up defects lying elsewhere. In the chaos that come with a bad economy, even well meaning managers end up firing mediocre and good performers. So how do you avoid putting your job in the line of fire? How do you keep your job in a bad economy?

Work Hard and Smart
Work long hours, work hard, and work smart. Sacrifice a few of your hobbies if need be, and focus all your energies on your job. You can pursue hobbies when your basic needs are met and for that you need to keep your job. Remember, you need to create 15-20% more leads to sell at the pre-recessive levels. Use your free times in finding creative solutions to your sales related problems. Sit down with your boss and higher ups to set a reasonable target in the tough conditions. Work diligently to achieve your target and let your productivity speak for you. People that make money for the organization are valued and are left untouched. When you achieve your target don‟t brag about it, be modest.

Measure Your Efforts and Achievements
Prepare detailed logs of calls made, clients visited, product demonstrations given, sales orders obtained, new customers added, and repeat sales made etc. Every work related activity should be recorded in a log sheet with clear details of time spent and resultant developments from the activities. Quantify in money terms how productive you have been. The company wants to know how much money you have made for them. It also would want to know how much time you are spending working. Even of you are reading blogs or books on “Selling in Tough Times” enter into your log the time spent reading. Be truthful and don‟t fake when about your log entries, they may be scrutinized.

Cut Costs Voluntarily
Don‟t wait for the office directive to cut costs. Do it voluntarily. Fly in the next lower class, stay in budget hotels, cut down on luxurious dining, and reduce treating customers to lavish parties. Quantify the costs saved in monetary terms and keep an accurate account of them. Your company will appreciate the money you have saved during the hard times.

Make Your Efforts and Achievements Visible
During tough times ask your boss for guidance, instructions, and targets more than you normally do. Report and inform him about your work progress regularly. Send all the reports to your boss so that he knows what exactly you are doing. It is also crucial that you inform your efforts and achievements to the person your boss reports to. This will make your boss impartial and accurate in assessing your performance. Things will be straight and simple as your boss will not want to put his job in risk in being unnecessarily critical of a productive person like you.

Let your boss as well as other higher ups in the organization know how sincerely you are working and how you are doing. Let them know how much money you have made for the organization and how much money you have saved by following frugal methods. If you go to the office before your boss arrives and leave after he leaves record the timings. When you are working late into the night sending Emails using your Linkedin account, send copies to your manager or boss so that he knows.

Ask for more challenging assignments and accomplish them. You will definitely keep your job.

Don’t Whine
When your company is trying hard to stay afloat it doesn‟t make sense to whine about lack of more facility, perks, or incentives. If you whine you will be the first to go. You should be happy to have your job and work with gratefulness. Be a Low maintenance employee – both cost and emotion wise.

Be a Team Player
To be a team player first you must admire and respect the team leader or your boss. Be easy on others and have a good relationship with others in the team. Bury your differences and fight together to beat the tough times. Work towards achieving your personal targets as well as team targets. Help you teammates wherever you can so that the overall performance goes up and nobody is sacked.

Success comes after hard work, even in the dictionary. Work hard and smart – you will always have a job, no matter the economic and market conditions.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Sales is the Highest Paying Hard Work and the Lowest
Paying Easy Work – 5 Steps to Creating a Six Figure Income

By Doug Dvorak

Only five percent of American working population earns six figure salaries or more. Entertainment and sports are the areas where celebrities make astronomical sums of money. But these are highly uncertain career options and the percentage of super successful people in these lines is very low.

The norm in our country is to earn a college degree and chase six figure salaries. Aviation, finance, law, medicine, and sales are the areas that can earn you six figure salaries. In fact, sales is one field where you can take the salary you want. The salary you earn will be directly proportional to your work ethic and culture. It depends on you how much you will make as a sales person. Taking it easy and working lackadaisically will yield a low income.

In sales it is very much possible to work hard and earn six figure incomes or more. Consider the stats: the average annual income of sales representatives were $64,440, for wholesale and manufacturing, technical and scientific products, in May 2006. These figures include commissions. There are other factors like employee stock options, health and life insurance, pension plans, vacation and sick leave, personal use of a company car, frequent flyer mileage, free vacation trips, and gift packages which can add up to much more. With a little effort and gathering a few years experience it is not difficult to touch the six figure mark.

Get a College Degree in Sales
In normal times getting a sales job with high pay is more possible if you have a college degree in sales and marketing. Students from top business schools easily make it to the six figure bracket. MBA alumni of Stanford Business School earn a median salary of $225, 000 after five years of their graduating (source: Forbes). MBAs from some top business schools do start with six figure salaries. MBAs from Harvard Business School, University of Pennsylvania‟s Wharton School, and University of Michigan Ross School of Business, some of the top universities in the USA, earn six figure incomes of in the starting year. Here is a comprehensive list of top 45 MBA programs with their median earning potentials in America. (Source: Business Week)
Not everybody can manage a degree from these top universities. MBA degrees from even ordinary colleges help in getting better sales jobs and the chance to earn more. There is good competition in getting a job of sales representative and a college degree gives an edge. A college degree helps better than a high school diploma in getting a sales job. In 2006 nearly 44% of the sales force in the US had graduate or bachelor‟s degree in comparison to 27% high school diploma holders or less qualified people. For technical and scientific product selling college degrees are a must. Of course, even school drop outs can make their mark in sales. But they are the exceptions. Sales experience and online business degree also can serve the purpose of earning more in sales and rising up the corporate ladder. (Source: BLS).

Find Your Niche
As a sales person you may be comfortable selling a particular type of product. Your aptitude, personality type, family background, and upbringing will make you more suitable for selling a particular product. Some are good in the automotive sector, some in the finance, and some in the housing sector. Each sector has sub sectors. Even in auto sector there are people that may be good at selling second hand cars, while you may excel at selling new cars. A sales person that loves driving couples and families around to take a tour of homes put up for sale is more likely to succeed in that field. Visualize what type of product you will be enthusiastic about selling and what type of customers would you be interested in dealing with. You must choose a field that you love.

Know Your Sector
Understand your sector thoroughly to sell well. Simply loving a sector will not do to become a top salesman. If you are not money savvy and do not understand how the financial market works how can you excel in selling financial products? Also, be well informed about the latest happenings and developments in you area of operation.

Sell with Enthusiasm
Be passionate about selling your product. Don‟t be just another salesman. Be a driven salesman with a remarkable product. Sell energetically. Master your sales process and go about selling your product with enthusiasm. Keep the customer‟s need in the forefront, the sales numbers will be taken care of automatically.

Hone Your Sales Skills
Sales skills ultimately boil down to some basic skills, but you need to keep perfecting them constantly to get the maximum results. For instance, good listening is a basic skill requirement of succeeding in sales. To be a super salesman you must try to get into the mind of the customers and read what they would require. Listening intently to what they are saying; the words and the body language they are using can provide windows to their intentions and interest in buying the product.

No other career offers an opportunity to earn a six figure annual income. How soon would you reach there – it all depends on your attitude and enthusiasm.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Sales 2.0 – The Next Sales Frontier

By Doug Dvorak

Technological innovations have always influenced and changed the way we live. Buying and selling, formidable facets of life, too get transformed by the latest developments in technology. Technical developments such as the advent and the growth of the Internet have created value for both buyers and sellers alike. Sales 2.0 is a term coined to reflect the usage of WEB 2.0 and other technologies that are expedient to sales success.

In simple terms, Sales 2.0 means nothing but the usage of latest technologies to leverage sales and meet buyer needs. Latest web technologies and social media form a part of Sales 2.0 tools. Sales 2.0 approaches produce superior, predictable, and repeatable business results. They can cut costs, save time, and sustain a competitive edge. Sales 2.o is still the same age old concept of sales, only the process and methods have evolved. Sales 2.0 concentrates on engaging customers and developing brand loyalty with the ultimate aim of driving more sales.

It Starts with a Website
To reap the benefits of Sales 2.0 processes a business need to have a website and preferably a blog. A website is on 24/7 and can be accessed across the globe. A website can describe a brand in finer details and at times can better serve than a sales person. Interested people can receive regular newsletters from the website and be posted about the latest development concerning the product. A blog will also declare to the world about the latest developments and different perspectives about a brand. Interested people can post their queries or comments. By answering their queries sellers can clarify doubts. Responding to peoples‟ comments the sellers could bring them closer the knowledge about the ability of the product to meet their needs.

Techniques of Getting Traffic
Simply having a website is not enough. The website must be visited by more and often by people. Search engines optimization (SEO) techniques and getting linked to other websites are indispensable part of web 2.0 process, which in turn is a part of Sales 2.0 process. In addition to having content rich with search engine friendly key words, your website and blogs should be linked to RSS aggregator. Your blog also need to be a member of Technorati, the blog ranking search engine.

Using the Internet to Promote Brand and Sales
Many businesses that use sales 2.o techniques embed audios and videos of products and brands on their websites. They broadcast clippings of their business videos on websites such as You Tube. Sharing visuals greatly enhances visibility of the product.

Social Media Savvy
Your business or you should have profiles in various social networking sites such as Facebook, Linkedin, and Twitter. Sales techniques have evolved with the evolving behavior of buyers. If 7/8 years ago buyers loved to spend time chatting on Yahoo or MSN, now they prefer to keep in touch with friends and associates as well as make new contacts on social media. Networking in the social media helps in increasing sales directly. Interacting with a prospect on social media increases the likelihood of getting an appointment by 8 times. (Source: Bnet)

Hone Your Sales Skills
We all know how it is to make or receive cold calls. Sales persons would love if the awkwardness of talking to strangers could be eased a bit. Establishing some rapport with people from an organization would help a great deal in picking the phone and making the call. Social media helps in creating familiar grounds.

Being part of the social media enables businesses to get a chance to feel the pulse of the buyers and the market trend. They also may get into a position to influence market buzz. These are definitely going to help sales.

Sales 2.0 is About Speed
With the help of technology sales reps are now able to close deals at a speed that was not possible a decade ago. They get messages through instant messaging or SMS about the latest moves of the prospects. It is now possible to have a feel of the pulse of the prospect constantly and close the deal when the prospect is hot. The possibility of accessing emails on mobile phones and replying to them is one of the technological advances that help in this direction.

When all is said and done Sales 2.0 is still about human relationships. Technology has only modified the process and the end result remains the same. Sales 2.0 is not a transitional thing after Sales 1.0 and before Sales 2.1. It is an effective sales tool. Sales in the next decade will be steered by Sales 2.0. Those that are using it know better.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Selling in a Recession – 5 Steps for Sales Survival

By Doug Dvorak

The good news is that recession has bottomed out and the economy is on an upward trajectory of revival. But tough times are not yet over and it won‟t be in a short time. The storm might have gone, but we have to work through the wreckage it has left on its trail. That would take some time.

This is a time when people are spending very cautiously. Businesses are picking up, but very slowly. What does this mean to sales people? Does it hold only pictures of bleakness? Not at all, at least not for people those are ready to brace the hard times with a steely determination. It will be hopeless for sales persons that give up easily.

There are quite a few organizations and sales professional that really did well during 2008, right at the peak of the recession. Some businesses made good profits and hired more people. SaskTel, a leading wireless, phone services, Internet service provider in Canada made $121 million profit in 2008, an increase of 44% over the profits for the year 2007. LG Electronics registered an increase of 1.1% in profits in comparison to the year 2007. In the first quarter of 2009 LG Electronics registered 62.1% profit. The net annual profit figures of LG are yet to touch the pre recession figures, but signs of recovery are clearly visible.

Back at home there are some encouraging facts. US Newspapers made 12% profit in 2008. Newspapers with less than 15,000 copies circulation made 15% profit. These figures are healthy considering the fact that large US Newspapers have been making 12% profit for the past five years. Recession didn‟t make much difference. How did they do that and you can incorporate their strategies into your sales methods?

Have a Positive Attitude
This is crucial in difficult times and crisis situations. A positive attitude will make one energetic and increase productivity. It requires discipline in thought to have a positive attitude when the entire media is blaring gloomy news and forecasts 24×7. It requires vision and clarity of thought to see beyond. Recession worse than the current one, have come and gone. This one will also pass. The best thing is to concentrate on the task at hand – keep on trying to sell.

Work Harder
Hard working sales people know that this is the time to work even harder. This is a testing time where the hard workers are rewarded. This is not the time for the journeyman salesman, the 9-5 order taker, or the mediocre wannabe. This is the time for the hard worker, the ones that eat, sleep, and drink SELLING. This is the time when the salesmen with can-do-it attitude have to make 50 calls instead of the usual 20 calls to get one order.

Sales people passionate about selling will have to put in more sincere efforts, make more calls, qualify more prospects, give demos with all their hearts, and serve with earnestness. Network harder and try to sell as if your life depends on it.

Work Longer
There are no short cuts to success. And when the times are tough the route gets longer. You have to work harder and work longer. It‟s a bit like playing long rallies with patience. You will have to spend more time working. Lunch breaks have to be short and free times have to be utilized productively. Leads that you would have ignored previously to save time should be explored more to qualify as prospects. That requires additional time than the usual.

Pay More Attention to Customers’ Needs
You have to be really caring and attentive towards customers‟ product needs to get business in tough times. When customers have cut down on spending drastically and trying to manage with the bare minimum you have to really pay attention to their requirement. You have to be really grateful to the customer for doing business with you.

Give Your Best Shot
Ace tennis players know this. When the situation gets really tough they produce their best game. Champions like Pete Sampras and Roger Federer fire away aces, hit tearing down the line forehands, and ripping cross court backhands to pull themselves out of difficult situations. They have produced some of the best tennis actions when they are trailing 0-2 or 1-2 in five setter matches. They may make many unforced errors when leading but not when they are trailing.

As a sales person you need to sharpen all your skills to perfection. Your physical and mental fitness, listening skills, speaking powers, persuasive abilities, tact in handling objections, product knowledge, and preparedness with facts and figures should all be perfect or near perfection. Like a champion you can do no wrong when it comes to your job. Victory will definitely be yours.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Stop Whining and Start Selling – How to Stay Positive in a
Negative World

By Doug Dvorak

“A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. For myself, I am an optimist – it does not seem to be much use being anything else.” – Winston Churchill
“The optimist sees the rose and not its thorns; the pessimist stares at the thorns, oblivious to the rose.” – Kahlil Gibran
“Don’t find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain.” – Henry Ford
“There is no such thing as a problem without a gift for you in its hands. You seek problems because you need their gifts.” – Richard Bach

Whining leads to inaction and inaction to the curses of failure and defeat. Winston Churchill has rightly said that there is no use in being a pessimist and keep complaining about things. We have to be happy with the deck that has been dealt to us and play to the best of our abilities. Amazingly, more often than not it turns out to be good if we play it right. If we keep complaining on what we do not have our misery will be endless. On the contrary, if we accept gracefully what is given to us and continue cheerfully to multiply that our happiness and joy will be infinite. The choice is always ours.

If all difficulties, objections, and obstacles must be removed before the commencement of an activity perhaps no activity would ever take place in this world. A baby would never learn to walk if it waits for the surface to be even, till it gains enough leg strength, and is able to balance itself completely. It gains leg strength and learns how to have balance while tackling different surfaces as it keeps trying to learn how to walk.

Start Selling in Tough Times
Selling in tough times is like finding your foothold on a slippery surface. But unless you keep wading through, slowly and cautiously, how you will reach the goal? Many sales people and businesses have actually thrived in tough times. It is common knowledge that many great companies were founded and earned fame during recessions. Coors, Wrigley, IBM, UPS, GM, Herman Miller, Disney, Zippo, Hewlett Packard, Toys “R” Us, Domino‟s Pizza, Super 8, Microsoft, Symantec, Nantucket Allserve, Wikipedia, and Newegg are some of the famous companies that were established during recessive periods and flourished during those periods. There are many small and medium sized organizations, which are not so famous, did start during recessions and prospered during the tough times. So what‟s your excuse?

Is the current recession any different?
Evidence and facts show that there are companies that are thriving even during this recession. Amazon and Netflix are two such companies. Amazon‟s total sales and profits increased by 18% and 9% respectively in the last quarter of 2008. Amazon improved its service and shortened its delivery time to beat its closest rival ebay. Earlier it used to deliver ordered products in 5-6 days. With smart rethinking it reduced the delivery time to 2-3 days.

Netflix added 718,000 new customers in the last quarter of 2008. Its net revenue increased by 19% and profits soared by 45%.

The telecom industry was hit hard by the recent recession. Giants like AT & T saw their profits plummet. Sprint Nextel actually suffered losses – $1.6 billion in the last quarter of 2008. Against this backdrop, Verizon‟s performance is very inspiring. Verizon‟s profits grew by 15% as it added 1.4 billion subscribers in the same period. Verizon had laid FiOS fiber-optic network to provide high speed broadband service. It spent a lot of money on ads though the times were not bright. People cannot afford to remain disconnected even if it is recession. The plan worked and Verizon added 282, 000 customers in the last quarter of 2008 with their wireless and phone services.

Heinz, Hershey, and Colgate changed strategy. They all increased prices and made profits. Hershey‟s increased its prices by 11 percent when the price of cocoa hit a 30-year high in August 2008. Later cocoa prices came down, but Hershey‟s stuck to the new prices. Its profits rose by 51 percent in the last quarter of 2008 over the same quarter of 2007.

No problem presents itself without its solution. We have to work diligently to find the solution.

Non performers will always give excuses: tough economic conditions, fierce competition, lack of complete support from the organization, and even personal set backs. But a real salesman (woman too) will sell no matter what.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

The Global War on Sales Talent – How to Hire and Retain
Great Sales Talent

By Doug Dvorak

“Do not demand accomplishment of those who have no talent. Do not charge people to do what they cannot do. Select them and give them responsibilities commensurate with their abilities.” – Sun Tzu, Great Chinese Military Thinker
We cannot blame our sales managers if this thought is lost on them. Sun Tzu had written these words 2500 years ago in an essay “The Art of War” and moreover it was in China. But it is wonderful to note that how appropriate and useful are these words in today’s business world, especially in sales.

Improved legislation from the WTO and other international trading organizations have facilitated smoother trading relationships between economies. With the crumbling of protectionist barriers today’s business world has become truly global. It makes sense to hire the best possible talent to succeed in a competitive business environment that transcends national boundaries.

Businesses would admit without much hesitation that often their hiring decisions have proved too costly for them. At times they have hired “sales personalities” and found that they had only posited faith in a popular myth. Wrong hiring decision costs much more than actually estimated by sales managers. Unsuitable and incapable sales staffs do not only impede growth of the organization, they drag it back. It takes two years to rectify the problem of hiring the wrong sales person. If hiring the right sales persons is difficult it is a challenge to retain them on a long term basis.

It is possible to hire and retain the best sales talent. The following steps would help a great deal in that direction.

  • Attract the Best Talent: Whether hiring locally or globally the challenges posed are similar – how to attract the best talent. Offering the best possible compensation and perks as well as an encouraging work environment will create a premier pool of applicants. The challenge is to separate the suitable from the unsuitable. From posting the advertisements for filling up sales vacancies to the final handing over of the employment letters, organizations should plan everything to hire the best possible talent. They should know where talented sales achievers would look for a change of job. Campus interviews are good if raw talent is the target. Referrals from dependable employment agencies and current employees work well in the case of experienced hands when the referring parties know the exact nature of job expectation of the sales position.
  • Creating the Right Profile: The desired profile of the candidates should be created by observing the current lot of outstanding sales performers that the organization has. Some of their traits, if not all, are what the organization should look forward to have in the candidates. Of course, the candidate should have the potential and willingness to develop the remaining traits that are absent in them. Candidates must have multiple profile characteristics such as: high self- motivation, good sales skills, intelligence, empathy, and integrity. Candidates strong in a single characteristic profile or lacking any characteristic profile should be avoided.
  • Having the Correct Selection Method: The HR department that has the primary responsibility of screening candidates should work in perfect tandem with the sales department, which is often not the case. Psychologists Frank L. Schmidt and John E. Hunter have determined in a study about the effectiveness of different employee selection techniques that 87
    work sample tests, which simulate important parts of the job are the most accurate predictor of job success. Structured interviews with a predetermined set of questions and a consistent method of scoring candidates is the second best predictor of job success. The sales and HR department should work together to design the tests and questionnaires.
  • Seal the Deal: Once suitable candidates are identified negotiations should be made to get the signed copy of the employment offer. Delay could result in the desired candidate opting to join elsewhere.
    Retaining talented and efficient sales staff on a long term basis is a challenge. Sales people have vast contacts and have information about openings in other sales organizations. Dissatisfaction with their current organization would prompt them to explore a new sales opportunity with another company. To avoid this, the following tips will be helpful.
  • Giving the True Picture: While recruiting candidates the HR personnel and the sales manager should give the correct nature of the job and not hide anything that may latter cause disappointment on the part of the new hires. It works against an organization when it tries to drum up the pluses and hides the minuses of working with it. The policy of non-discrimination on the basis of gender, nationality, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, or ethnicity should actually be in practice.
  • Adequate Appreciation and Compensation: Achievers in sales should be praised for their efforts by way of appreciative compliments and adequate incentives and perks. When the times are tough achievers may consider forgoing monetary compensation. But what no human being can do without is the recognition of his/her achievements. Give generous doses of positive reinforcements to achievers.
  • Ignoring occasional failures and not being overly critical would help a lot in this direction. Having a Long Term Plan: Having a long term career plan for achievers with the prospect of promotion, employee stock option plans, and possible retirement benefits would encourage sales personnel to stick with the organization for a long time.
    Efforts towards hiring the best talent and retaining them should be robust. Financially, it makes a lot of sense and saves precious time as well as energy.

Having good recruitment and employee retaining practices would yield tangible results if they are implemented with the spirit with which they are created. The willingness to implement the practices must come from the top management.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching.

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

Sales Dashboard – What Real-Time Data Sales Managers
Need To Manage Successfully

By Doug Dvorak

What does a dashboard on a car do? It provides information to the driver about fuel, speed, miles traveled, and other relevant information. This data is helpful while driving a vehicle. Anybody that has driven or has traveled in a car knows that car dashboards give information that facilitates in making better driving decisions. For instance, indicating low fuel levels should alert the driver to refuel at the nearest gas station. The driver can also gauge how far away the car is from the intended destination by reading the miles covered or avoid traveling in the night if the battery levels are low.

In the world of business, specifically sales, sales dashboards can help to fulfill similar useful functions. The sales dashboard is a control panel that visually displays most information/data, on a single platform, needed to achieve one or more sales objectives. Perhaps the best definition of a dashboard is offered by Stephen Few, author of the book Information Dashboard Design, “A dashboard is a visual display of the most important information needed to achieve one or more objectives which fits entirely on a single computer screen so it can be monitored at a glance.”

The sales dashboard helps sales managers and executives to get a view of their sales organizations, all with juxtapositions at a glance. The data is current and relevant, comparative, and concise. Depending on the nature of the dashboard it can be referred to as a “Performance Dashboard”, “Business Dashboard”, “Executive Dashboard”, or “Metrics Dashboard”.

Sales managers can configure any of the above dashboards depending on the nature of their sales organization and goals set forth by the strategic sales plan and who is the reader of the dashboard. A dashboard can inform a sales manager about things such as: sales per rep by region, call to close ratio, margin analysis, what is the recent success level of any particular sales representative relative to other sales team members on his team; whether the sales figures in the current quarter are on target to meet sales goals; or are the sales figures in this quarter better than that of the sales figures of the same quarter the previous year. All of this rich and relevant data is only 1 mouse click away,

The Ideal Sales Dashboard
A sales dashboard carrying real time data is a unified interface that facilitates efficient and convenient access to the latest data among users in a business environment. Real time data on a sales dashboard cuts away redundancy in information and agonizing waiting periods. Access to information is instantaneous or with negligible latency.

A well managed real time sales dashboard minimizes wasted time and overheads by giving access to data and helping in taking decisions. Web analytics master Avinash Kaushik opines that, “dashboards empower a rapid understanding of business performance by tracking the critical business data in an easy to understand manner. Effective dashboards can be a very powerful communication medium and greatly accretive to driving actions.”

Some of the salient components of the above statement are:

  • Critical business data
  • Easy to understand
  • Accretive to driving actions

Critical Business Data- The data entered in to a dashboard should be critical to the business. The aim is to bridge the gap between strategic objectives and operational behavior. The data should align with strategy and there should not be any disconnect between what is measured and what is achieved. Since dashboards need to be concise and not lengthy like reports, all the data entered into them should be relevant. It then obviously follows that they should be accurate and not misleading.

Easy to Understand- Simplicity is another essential trait of good dashboards. Dashboards should be simple and easy to understand. They should isolate key metrics and incorporate charts wherever required.

Accretive to Driving Actions- The purpose of a dashboard is to provide information which could help in taking further actions. Nearly eighty percent of Web Analytics dashboards are extra Excel sheets that are not helpful in taking further actions. Wayne W Eckerson suggest in his new book, “Performance Dashboards”, “Performance Dashboards let busy executives, managers and staff view the performance of key business metrics at a glance and then move through successive layers of actionable information in a carefully guided manner, so that they get the insight they need to solve problems quickly, efficiently and effectively.”

At the touch of a button, a dashboard can unearth delinquent and deficient activities.

But for the dashboards to be effective, sales mangers should ensure that they keep these things in mind while preparing them:

  • Concise- Unlike reports, they don’t tell a story, they tell specifics. They just tell if sales
    are better or worse, but do not tell why it is so. Dashboards help business decisions by presenting key performance indicators (KPI) and have to be concise.
  • Relevant Data- Data that is remotely relevant should have no place in real time data dashboards. Inclusion of such data would make a dashboard unnecessarily lengthy.
  • Latest- The real time data must be current. Old data may be included for reasons of presenting a comparative picture. Data that is redundant has no use.
  • Clearly Visible- All data presented in the dashboard should be clearly visible and be available on a single platform or page.
  • Easy Access- Dashboards should be easily accessible by people for whom they are intended.
  • Updated in Real Time- Dashboards carrying real time data should have the feature of getting updated in real time and from remote locations if need be.
  • Graphs and Charts- Maps, charts, graphs, dials, and traffic lights can be included in the dashboard only to make data distinctly visible and not to make it look flashy.

It is in the interest of sales managers and organizations to recognize that a sales dashboard is only an enabler and not an answer. Creating and managing a sales dashboard is only a part of the bigger picture and should work towards bringing organizational change. Managed effectively, real-time data dashboards could be potent tools in aligning resources with strategy and realizing business initiatives and goals.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided.

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

How To Write Winning Value Propositions With Quantifiable
Hard Dollar Figures To Win A Sale

By Doug Dvorak

It is natural for customers to probe the “what‟s in it for me” interest deeply before making a buying decision. When customers buy a product or a service they ask numerous questions and weigh various pros and cons of buying the product. They are likely to make a cost and benefit analysis. Such analysis should tilt heavily in favor of benefits to lead to a purchase. Obviously, the more benefits you offer, greater is the probability of buying. In fact, nowadays customers‟ expectations are almost exploding. In this age of instant gratification, speed, quality of service, and everything else about the product is quantified and weighed before buying.

Businesses and sales persons should convince the customer how much they are going to benefit if they buy their product. A value proposition is a statement specifying the tangible product/service and financial benefits that would accrue to the customer if they buy the product or service. The more elaborate and specific the value proposition, the stronger it becomes. A strong value proposition invariably results in a sale.

The Value Proposition should be about the Customer
A value proposition could be in any form – quality product, better customer service, speedy delivery, progressive discount, saving on energy, etc. Your value propositions should talk about the benefits accruing to the customer and they should be converted in to dollars.

Keep Weak Value Propositions Away
Phrases like “you will benefit immensely”, “you stand to gain”, “you are assured of great service” do not convince discerning buyers. Sales persons cannot succeed by using standard sales lines such as:

  • Our product saves you precious dollars
  • You will get countless benefits
  • Our technical superiority will save you money
  • We are the best when it comes to saving money
  • These types of statements are vague and too generic. Using such lines and responses in the value proposition will not impress or persuade the prospect to buy.

Use Strong Value Proposition Statements
There should be punch in the value proposition statements. The statements should be strong, convincing, and verifiable.

  • This new policy saves you $10,000 per year and provides you with more coverage
  • Our clients have increased their business by 20-25 percent using our business solutions services
  • Your savings on waste management will be nearly one percent or $1300.00 per year
  • You will be saving $10.00 per year per computer in terms of energy savings
    These are some examples of strong value proposition statements. The best way to submit value propositions is to quantify them in terms of dollar value. Customers can see the immediate benefit and compare it with the competition. If the competition doesn‟t have quantified benefits in their value proposition document then your product or service is more likely to be the desired solution. A strong value proposition, with numerical data, has the potential to differentiate your product or service from the competition.

Don’t Ignore the Small Numbers
Ignoring small numbers in your value proposition is not advisable. There are a number of senior executives that would schedule a meeting with you if you send them a value proposition stating that your product or service can reduce their waste management expenses by 1 percent. This may appear to be a small figure, but companies doing millions of dollar worth of business will really pay attention in this recession as each cent saved on waste management is applied to their bottom line. The small numbers doesn‟t apply to waste management alone. Even a tiny feature like saving energy when printers are switched off can decide their salability.

Keep It Short and Uncluttered
Keep the value proposition statements short and uncluttered. You should mention the final figures without taking the customer through complex calculations. The dollar figures you furnish should be accurate. Most importantly you should allow the customer to verify your figures by citing authentic sources.

Unique Value Proposition (UVP)
Develop a unique value proposition to stay ahead of the competition and get noticed. Convert the UVP into dollars so that the customer would know exactly how much they are going to benefit by doing business with you. IBM for instance, offers services as its unique value proposition instead of cutting their price. Over the past few years its business has grown largely based on that. Since we have laid emphasis on quantifiable terms, it is necessary to mention here that IBM‟s revenues increased by nearly five percent in the third quarter of 2008 compared to that of the same period in 2007. Of the $23.5 billion that it earned, $14.8 billion came from services provided.

The fact that a well written value proposition garnished with hard dollars lends itself to be easily understood and compared should be borne in the minds of the business owners and managers. The customer will be motivated to buy when the benefits become tangible in terms of dollars, there are no two ways about it.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

Five Steps for Sales Success in a Slow Economy

By Doug Dvorak

A slow economy is a difficult time for business and no salesperson welcomes it. As total business volume slumps, triggering apprehension of deeper recession and pessimisms and uncertainty can prevail. However, it is an inevitable part of the economic cycle and businesses should learn to cope with it and salespeople should develop a strategy to survive and thrive. They should pursue only the best possible sales opportunities despite the hardships. Weak and inefficient salespeople are affected most in a slow economy and some even get wiped out, because all the negative news affects their attitude. Interestingly, many salespeople and businesses not only survive when the economy is slow, they also thrive. In addition to having quality products and services they follow some basic sales strategies to succeed in a difficult market which you too can follow:

  1. Shift and Readjust Focus:
    The market composition changes when the economy is slow. Consumer demand and preferences change. Astuteness lies in studying and understanding the changes in the market and in consumer‟s behavior. For example, a shoe manufacturer will notice that during a slump, consumers forego purchasing expensive designer shoes. But the sales of moderately priced shoes meant for the average consumer will purchase these brands unabated. The shoe manufacturer will be better off shifting focus to low end and moderately priced shoes rather than concentrating on high end – designer shoes. Similarly, financial and investment companies will find that the shares of certain industries still remain high despite an economic slow down. Industries related to food and other products that are basic to the needs of people will remain upbeat in a slump. Campbell‟s Soup‟s stock price has not depreciated significantly during this recession. The gaming industry has actually experienced growth during the current ongoing recession. Some computing companies haven‟t yet been introduced to the current recession. IBM for example, has registered growth for the second successive quarter. Investors can shift their focus to these industries. Even some companies that have experienced a decline in the value of their stocks will be worth investing in if they show enough promise of bouncing back soon.
  2. More Thrust on Sales:
    When the economy is running smoothly or booming many salespeople become mere order takers and are not delivering value to their clients. There is hardly any skill required to push sales as the brand name of the product and huge consumer demand automatically result in sales. But when the economy slows down, consumer demand dips for a large range of products. That‟s when sharp sales skills should be used to keep sales figure up. The smart ones succeed in selling reasonably well despite the hard times. Organizations should reassess their sales strategies as well as the efficiency of their sales teams. There may be a need for weeding out non-performers from the sales team and rewarding the performers. Companies should have a well defined and effective sales process in place. All salespeople should adhere to the sales process and apply every ethical sales method that is known to them to get a sale. The possibility of online sales should be fully explored, as Forrester Research points out, that online consumers will spend $3000-4000 per year and their desire to spend is unlikely to be affected by recession.
  3. Emphasis on Customer Service:
    In good economic times you may get away with poor customer service. But during tough economic times a single slighted customer could prove to be very costly. Customers expect prompt service and due attention, especially when they have come forward and chosen to buy your product. Organizations should remember that the transaction doesn‟t end when they deliver the product and receive payments. It is just the beginning of a process that may require further rendering of service to the customer. A happy customer invariably becomes a repeat customer. A company can save money and effort by concentrating more on existing customers through impeccable customer service.
  4. Slashing Prices:
    One of the weapons of fighting a recession is slashing prices of products and services as much as possible to stay competitive attract new buyers and gain market share, while still making profits. Microsoft has slashed its prices of the Xbox consoles to stay ahead in the booming gaming market. To compete with Nintendo and Sony and capture a sizeable chunk of the gaming market during the holiday season, the decision to cut prices seemed very logical for Microsoft.
  5. Advertising:
    It is an accepted practice for organizations to cut costs when faced with a slow economy. The biggest mistake many organizations commit is that they cut expenses on advertising and public relations drastically. So much so, that the marketing efforts almost choke without the supply of advertising oxygen. While cutting wasteful expenses is necessary expenses on advertising and PR may be reduced cautiously.

Ultimately it boils down to the diligence, marketing savvy, business ethics, and optimism of the organizations that determine their success in a slow economy.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

How to Find and Hire Great Sales People – 5 Steps for
Staffing Success

By Doug Dvorak

Riding on a wave of an advertising and marketing blitzkrieg, anybody can sell a good product or service. True “salesmanship” lies in selling an unknown or lesser known product that has an average or non-existent brand name. Only a few possess this talent. Sales staffing should be aimed at hiring the best, brightest, and most talented sales professionals.

Sales success for an organization hinges largely on the proper selection of the sales people. Paying enough attention to the selection of sales staff takes care of more than half of the sales job. Smart sales people are adept at highlighting the strengths of the product or service. Sales Professionals are experts in spotting prospects and swift in overcoming objections. They can sell well even in the face of adversity and cut throat competition. Also, efficient sales people have the internal drive to succeed, a great sense of urgency to get the job done and achieve their sales objectives, even when the conditions are tough. So how do you spot such sales winners?

Search at the Right Places
Depending on the type of the organization and their sales focus, advertisements for sales staff should be strategically placed. Newspapers are the obvious first choice in placing ads for sales staffing requirements. But the selection of newspapers for sales vacancies should be correct. Sales people working in the financial field read different newspapers and industry publications than sales people working in the automobile industry. Senior sales executives prefer reading industry specific magazines and journals.

If raw recruits are what you want, campus selection could be a workable alternative. Encouraging your sales staff to poll their contacts and friends from other organizations works well too if you are looking for sales people with some experience. Networking is an excellent way of getting to know senior sales executives working for other organizations. Their current salary, benefits and pay expectations can be determined through networking.

Look for Passion
It does not matter if the sales candidate you are considering is a “rookie” or a seasoned sales professional, everybody on your sales team should have that spark. The “fire in the belly” should be felt through the eyes of the candidates. Selling is a dynamic and competitive job and it has no place for sluggish sales people who can‟t deal with rejection and the stress the profession has. Active and self-motivated people make good sales people. Most importantly, they should have a passion for sales and a desire to meet new prospects and solve client‟s problem through creatively crafting their sales solution.

Sales people should love their profession. Apart from the resume, their body language will speak volumes about their interest for the job. Arrange for more than one round of interviews to scan candidates. This will weed out the least motivated sales people from the aggressive and motivated sales people.

Real Experience
A young hire can be a smart choice. But certain sales functions cannot be handled by young and inexperienced sales people. They are the domains of experienced sales people. Screening candidates on the basis of years of service alone is a dangerous practice. Many sales people have 10, 15, or 20 years of experience which could actually mean 1 year of real experience multiplied over 10, 15, or 20 times. Working in more than one organization in various capacities dealing with a range of products leads to a bank of knowledge that is diverse. A sales professional in the telecommunication industry is better positioned if he has worked with landlines and mobile phones in comparison to one that has worked only for a mobile phone sales organization.

Do Qualifications Matter
Yes it does if you are considering hiring new candidates. Candidates with little or no actual sales experience, but who possess a professional degree in sales and marketing are preferable to candidates without the aforementioned. But, if you are hiring experienced sales people then qualification can be overlooked. There are many qualified sales people that are just average performers as there are an equal number of unqualified super sales performers. Talent, achievements, and passion can take precedence over qualifications when hiring experienced candidates.

Adaptability
Probe deeply as to whether the candidate can adapt to your sales organization and culture. This requires honestly matching the candidate‟s expectations and career goals to the kind of compensation and career advancement that you can offer. Candidates with a strong and independent streak are more likely to desire a sales culture that fosters and engenders a sales culture of independence and freedom. They may be good performers, but there is a chance that they will quit sooner or later if their sales personalities and desires are not met. Similarly frequent “job changers” jump from job to job at unhealthy intervals. They should be avoided.
Some sales candidates are so set in their sales skills and behaviors from their last organization that it becomes hard for them to shed old habits and adapt to a new sales organization and culture. This may cause unnecessary friction. Make this clear from the beginning – which they may have to adapt and change if they are to be successful and enjoy their sales career.

In summary, when selecting a superior sales candidate for your organization you should have a clear picture of the type of sales people you want to hire. You and your current sales team should be prepared to ask some tough pertinent questions of the candidates to determine who best to hire for the position. Candidness and a professional attitude on your part would make the selection process a truly fruitful and enjoyable one for you and the sales candidate.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

5 Steps to a Robust Sales Pipeline

By Doug Dvorak

Whether or not the sales team follows the rules of the sales process, every company has a sales process in place as this is a prerequisite for a sales department. Even when you‟re not sticking to the company‟s sales process, sales executives follow some of sales process. In every sales process there are a few well coordinated steps:

  1. Generating leads
  2. Qualifying prospects
  3. Sales presentations
  4. Handling objections
  5. Closing deals
  6. Referral sales
  7. There are potential/confirmed customers at various levels of the sales process. Usually their number tapers off from lead generation to the final step of referral sales. If a hundred leads are generated it may lead to 20 qualified prospects and three or four deals. If the sales person is talented enough or lucky, the number of qualified prospects and ultimately the deals may increase. Though there is no fixed method to predict the number of deals, this is a rough measure of leads to deals predictions. The Pareto principle of 80:20 works well here. Eighty percent of the leads qualify as prospects and eighty percent of the sales deals are generated by twenty percent of the qualified prospects. There may be a small percentage of difference here and there, but generally this is the rule.

The generation of leads, qualified prospects, deals, and referral sales is known as the sales pipeline. It is in the best interest of a sales person to have a robust sales funnel at every stage of the sales pipeline. This is the best way to maximize sales. The healthier the sales pipeline, the better the chance of achieving sales. It is the responsibility of the sales executive to maintain a robust sales pipeline. Here are the five steps how it can be done.

A strong Foundation through Good Lead Generation and Qualification
Explore all the expected sources for leads. Your company definitely creates leads by way of advertisements and publicity. Check if the lead data bank your office uses is up-to-date. You should have your own methods of lead generation too. Fresh leads can be obtained from the latest yellow pages, the Internet, networking, and referrals. There are some services like postmaster.com that have interested people signed up to receive newsletters and emails from sellers. You can probe for sales by sending newsletters (without spamming) to the listed people with postmaster.com.

Apart from the expected sources, leads appear from unexpected quarters if a sales person keeps his eyes and ears open. If you are on your way out of the customer‟s office after having concluded a deal there is no harm in stopping by and having a small talk with any of the office staff. Thank people from the organization that have helped you in reaching the right person and making a sale. Some of their friends or spouses may be running businesses and may have a requirement of your products. Usually as a sales person you will be in your element after making a sale. This is the best time to explore more possibilities. If not immediately, the office staff may get interested in your product later after they see how it works in their office. They wouldn‟t require any further proof of quality.

When it comes to qualifying prospects for your product or service be sure to ask open-ended questions – who, what when, where & why to determine that they are prospects and not suspects. Wisdom lies in grading qualified prospects and allotting time according to their importance. High caliber sales professionals spend more quality time with top prospects.

Be Creative in Contacting
Senior executives that have the power to make buying decisions do have hobbies and are often found in gyms, tennis clubs, resorts, and golf courses. They would be pleasantly surprised and appreciate it when you try to meet them there. Keep the meeting as brief as possible and only as a primer to a real official meeting. This is the time when they are in a relaxed mood and would give you a chance for a meeting or a demonstration. Also ascertain as to what time the senior executive in a relaxed mood while in the office. That‟s the best time to schedule a meeting.

Probe and Talk about the Customer’s Need
When you have an audience with the potential customer, don‟t bore him with the prattle about your product. Even if it‟s the best product in the whole world it means little to him. You have to first explore the needs of the organization, understand the needs, and confirm the needs. Then you will have the attention of the customer when you describe how your product can cater to their requirements and all the positive points about your product will suddenly become matters of interest to him. Let the customer do the talking about his needs first.

Solid Presentation, Pleasant Objection Handling, and Swift Closing
Now this is your chance. You have come this far. Make the most of it by giving a solid presentation. The best way to do that is to pepper your presentation with humor. Be confident and assertive. Come prepared to handle objections and remove objections pleasantly. Most importantly know when to close the deal. Close the deal swiftly with correct timing.

Closing a Deal is Just the Beginning
Closing the deal is just the beginning of more sales from the customer (repeat orders) and referrals earned through them. Yes, referrals have to be earned. When you treat your customers well with the right service they may refer others voluntarily. They may come forward to refer others when you ask them. Many sales people overlook the opportunity for repeat or referral sales just by not asking.

Sales people can have a large number of leads, prospects, and customers if they follow the above five steps. The flow of leads and customers would be steady and the sales pipeline will be robust as well as fully functional.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

How to Create a Motivational Environment for Sales Success

By Doug Dvorak

The world of sales is perceived to be extremely stressful and competitive. There is pressure to perform on a regular basis – every week, every month, every quarter. Whether you are a sales manager or the CSO – Chief Sales Officer you must have felt the pressure. Some people thrive under pressure and give their best. There are many that crumble under pressure. Their performance dips, self esteem takes a beating, and they become clueless about the solution. It is an avoidable situation if the sales team leader knows how to keep the morale of the team high. Motivation is the keyword to deal with such situations. “Lack of motivation may result in foot dragging, passivity, feigned acceptance, hidden sabotage or outright rejection in the implementation and use of new knowledge,” opines Gabriel Szulanski, assistant professor of management at Wharton. The same applies to the implementation of existing knowledge and over-all performance.

Inspire and Motivate Through Setting Examples Personally
It is the responsibility of the sales team leader to motivate the team not by mere talk but by action whenever the situation demands. As a leader the best way to motivate a team of sales people is to do the difficult thing yourself. You lead from the front and automatically the team gets inspired and vows to perform better. A leader should show the way and motivate others. He cannot safely sit in the office, shuttle form meeting to meeting, and bark orders. Like a brave captain he has to stand first in the line of fire and battle. He has to go out and demonstrate that it can be done.

The leader should demonstrate courage, skill, and results in sales. Just one or two real examples in difficult times would suffice. The sales team members may be discouraged by tough market conditions or higher sales targets. If the leader shows them that it can be done they will give their best to do it. If the leader fails to lead from the front the team members will not show faith in the leadership and will not be motivated to perform.

Be Judicious in Offering Incentives and Perks
Google has set the trend as far as motivating its employees is concerned by way of offering many comforts. The provision of gourmet breakfast, lunch, and dinner, a fitness center opened 24 hrs, yoga classes, in-house doctor, nutritionists, dry cleaners, availability of a personal trainer, the swimming pool and the spa, and high-tech buses with WI-FI access for commuting to work have earned it the reputation of having a creative and fun working atmosphere. These facilities are meant for all the employees of Google. Perks are only a part of the package. The whole package includes a good salary and well structured incentives. All these largesse make Google the best place in America to work for, according to a recent Fortune magazine report.

David Sirota, co-author of The Enthusiastic Employee: How Companies Profit by Giving Workers What They Want, concludes from the study conducted by his firm that employees are not valued in far too many companies and are “treated like paper clips.” These companies pay a heavy price for treating them that way. Typically the morale of a new employee remains high for as little as six months, and after that the level of morale can nosedive precipitously if employees feel unvalued.
An unfair compensation policy is perceived as being disrespectful and callous towards the employees. This soon leads to a lack of motivation. It is nice to feel valued. Sales people that are hard workers should be compensated well by way of adequate salaries and incentives. The incentive structure should be so designed that there are no reasons for complaints from the sales team.

Know Your Team Well
Oftentimes good sales performers pass though tough phases in their careers and lives. New comers to the team also may be at a loss to find their footing in the team. At such crucial junctures they need some mentoring and counseling. A leader should know each and every member of his team thoroughly. He should know what the motivational triggers are for each person of the team. He must find out what problem ails a sales person and fix the problem. He should listen to the troubled sales person patiently as he may have a genuine concern. As a friend, philosopher, and mentor he can help them bounce back to good form.

Praise Openly and Criticize Privately
Another mantra for creating a light and cheerful atmosphere in the sales department is to praise achievements openly and criticize failures privately, in a one-on-one conversation. The criticism should be constructive and shouldn‟t be too strong.

Hire Humorous Motivational Speakers from Time-to-Time
Yes, do that. They are the masters at diffusing tension. They are the gurus of motivation. They will motivate you and help you out of the rut with humor. When you have tried everything and failed remember these people can transform your dull and drab sales environment in to vibrant ones with their expertise.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

Prioritizing Sales Activities – The Key To Sales Success

By Doug Dvorak

We cannot manage time, it simply is. We cannot increase or decrease the supply of time. It is fixed for everybody. All we can do as professional sales people is to try and better manage ourselves with respect to time. What we can also do is adjust our activities according to the time we have at our disposal. Time management signifies managing of activities within the fixed time that we all are allocated in equal measure.

Time is very precious. Every fraction of a second counts – ask any sprinter that has competed in a race. Managing time well is the key to success in every field of endeavor. Achievers in any field would accord the highest importance to time management. Sales is no exception to this. In fact, sales is an area where time management is absolutely needed if one wishes to succeed. Just a few more seconds delay in a closing could let a sale slip away. Calling on the customer at the right time could lead to a deal.

So how do we manage time? The principles of time management are simple. We will not use any confusing management jargon here and discuss the easy techniques of time management in simple terms.

Prioritizing Tasks
All tasks are not equally important in sales. Some are not even important at all. It requires plain common sense to judge which tasks are important and how much. For instance, you have two tasks at hand. 1- A scheduled meeting with a prospect for tomorrow. There is a new product brought out by your company and there is a strong likelihood of your prospect buying it. But you don‟t know all the features of the product. 2- You have some cold calls to make. Either you read and consult your production engineer to learn about the product inside out or make the cold calls in the available time. What do you do?

Obviously, learn about the new product and prepare for the meeting with the prospect. You learn everything about the product and mentally rehearse the removal of product specific objections that the prospect may raise. Learning about the product is a priority here. After all, the prospect has been generated after many hours of prospecting and numerous calls. The other task of making cold calls can be postponed by a day or two.

Prioritization may not be as obvious as this given instance. Sometimes the tasks will appear to be equally ranked in the rungs of priority. You have to judge clearly which tasks to rank and work on them.

Beating Procrastination
The habit of postponing sales activities acts like a slow poison and affects performance on other tasks. When important tasks are postponed, it feels like being weighed down by a heavy burden. Putting off an unimportant task is effective prioritization not procrastination. The problem is when sales professionals keep postponing doing important tasks. The reasons could be that:

  • They are overwhelmed by the task and clueless as to where to start.
  • Afraid of the outcome that could be failure and even success in some cases.
  • Waiting for the right mood or the right time which never seems to arrive.
  • It has to be done the perfect way or not done at all.
  • Poor decision making skills or organizational skills.
  • The first step to tackle procrastination is recognizing that you are actually procrastinating on something. Then you need to take on the task head first. Do all the preparation required but fix a time to attend to the task and do it. Don‟t worry about the result, just set about doing the task and give your best. The worst that can happen is that you may fail. What do you have to lose; you had failed anyway by not attending to it. The beauty of tackling a difficult or overwhelming task is that it gets easier and is not as stressful as you imagined it to be when you take it head on. The more you keep postponing a task the more difficult it becomes. Just do it at the earliest opportunity. NOW, is the right time. When you clear up difficult tasks first thing in the day the rest of your day passes like a cool breeze and you can attend to other tasks with a better frame of mind.

Work According to a Schedule
Prepare a daily schedule and make sure that you stick to that. Be flexible to accommodate time for other pressing needs or emergencies. But stick to the basic schedule. Exercise at a particular time in the morning or the evening. Plan your sales call for the next day in the evening and enter it into your schedule or to-do list. Prepare you schedule one or two months in advance.

Apportion the Right Amount of Time
With experience you would know how much time each sales call, meeting, presentation, and closing should take. Apportion the right amount of time for each task.

Cut the Time Wasters Away
Talking for too long with the other office staff, colleagues, and unproductive prospects should be cut away. There are many frivolous activities that may take away your precious time when you are on the job. Keep away distraction and stay focused on the job at hand.

These principles of time management should be applied with a heavy dose of common sense. Soon you will find that you are not rushing and pushing your way to sales appointments and are rarely pressed for time. You will be cruising with full control and will have a lot of time for everything.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

How to Motivate and Coach a Winning Sales Team

By Doug Dvorak

We have heard that success is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. But sales is a profession that requires large doses of inspiration and motivation on a regular basis in order to be successful. Professional sales people face a lot of rejection and for every ‘YES’ there are at least nine “NOs’. It can be difficult sometimes experiencing all the rejection successful sales people recognize that the constant barrage of “NOs” is not to be taken personally, but that its just part of the sales game. Even if one gets used to the rejection over time, the stiff competition from rivals, adverse market conditions, and the need to keep meeting or exceeding sales targets can affect the performance of a sales person. Even top achievers are not immune to this. At such times the antidote is the motivation from the sales manager. Applied in the right amounts and at appropriate times, motivation can lift the sagging spirits of the sales force. Their body language changes, they start performing better, and their results improve.

Know Your Sales Team

Strengths and Weaknesses:
As a sales manager you must know your sales team thoroughly. You must know the strengths and weaknesses of each member of your sales force. A sales manager has to work with the sales team that they have been given. Each sales person has certain strengths and drawbacks. The talent of a sales manager is to optimize the results by capitalizing on the strengths. It helps if you know that X is good with institutional sales and Y is better at individual sales. Or that A can get along with up market clients better and B can maintain a certain type of account. If you know that C has worked in the service industry earlier in his career and can gel well with professionals from that industry it would help you both. It also helps when you know within the team who works well with whom. Ultimately you want them to perform better and having a coherently working team is always good to achieve the sales goals of the individual and the organization.

Driving Forces:
Even knowing about their personal lives is helpful when it comes to dealing with the sales team. It is hard to compartmentalize personal and professional lives. Somehow they affect each other no matter how hard we try to segregate them. If their personal life is going great, things are more likely to be brighter on the professional front and vice versa. If you know that sales people are interested in earning extra incentives by working harder to pay their new car loan, they would show all the enthusiasm to do so. It would be wise to give them the opportunity to do so. Young sales people will be keen to earn more money to pay off their student loans or finance car loans. Middle aged sales people would like to finance their kids’ college education or pay-off their home mortgage. It is important to know the driving force of each sales person on your team.

Encourage them to Share with You

Professional:
You should encourage your sales people to talk to you about things that are influencing their work. This includes product information, sales processes being followed, sales support, their relationship with co-workers, attitude towards the management policy, their equation with you, and any other factors. You should sort out if there are any issues. If a sales person provides valid suggestions about improving the sales process then the best motivation for them would be to modify the sales process and attribute the credit to them. Some members of your team may be interested in periodic training and workshops. Encourage them by providing the opportunities for such skill sharpening and enhancement training.

Personal Joys and Sorrows:
As a sales manager you can be the friend, philosopher, and guide of your sales staff. Encourage them to open up with you and discuss their personal matters with you on a one-on-one basis. Try to provide friendly counseling. Offer solutions and ask them to put everything behind and march ahead. Knowing their personal joys and sorrows you can be a part of their lives and they would trust you more as a leader. This will help you in getting things done. Also it will be easier for you to understand that the reason for somebody’s poor sales performance in a given month are the challenges in their personal life.

Rewarding Achievements
Recognition is the key in sales. When a sales person achieves something appreciate it by way of incentives, perks, and gifts. Also acknowledge the success publicly so that he feels recognized and appreciated. This acts as the best booster to perform better.

Be Gentle Yet Firm
When somebody on the team is not reaching their sales goals be gentle with them. The worst thing would be to single them out in a sales meeting in front of everybody. Try to find out why they are failing. Ask them to meet and talk to you one-on-one and find out their problem. Provide the solution if there is any. Point out where they can improve. Be gentle and firm with such people. Allow them enough chance to improve. A little compassion and understanding goes a long way as a sales manger and can help your sales team to get back on track to sales success.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

Successful Telephone Selling Techniques

By Doug Dvorak

The cost of selling is escalating and time is ever in short supply to make face-to-face sales calls. But stiff competition requires that sales professionals keep notching up their sales goals every quarter and every year. The secret is not something very unfathomable. It lies with the proper use of successful telephone sales techniques. Winning sales professionals use the telephone as a successful tool to achieve their sales goals. Selling on the telephone is a very crucial sales method that no organization or individual can afford to ignore. That’s why we have a sudden increase and expansion of telephone call centers around the world. There are certain techniques that successful sales people resort to when they use the telephone for making sales calls and closing sales. We will study the simple techniques here.

Same Principles
ASelling over the telephone may lead to the closing of a sale or leading to an opening for a presentation and possible deal. The same principles that apply for face-to-face selling, is applicable for telephone selling. This means that you will follow the same rules like providing product information, handling objections and closing. You will have to be cordial to the prospect, not interrupt them, and give priority to their needs. In other words your mindset should be on adding value and trying to solve the client’s problem with a cost-effective solution.

You may not close the sales over the phone, but you can probe the prospect with open-ended questions like: who, what, when, where and why. You may have to first make many calls to get to the decision-maker. The decision-maker must have four unique and present factors: need, desire, financial capacity and authority. Then you will have to: present the product, anticipate and handle objections, and close the sale over the telephone to that person. This can be quite difficult, but just like a face-to-face sale and if you do it right you can close a sale or at least get a solid opening for an appointment and presentation.

Use the Advantages
The advantage of selling over the telephone is that neither the customer nor the buyer has the possibility of getting distracted by discouraging body language. The buyer also cannot judge the sales person by way of his/her personal appearance affecting the decision. Also sales over the telephone save a lot of time and energy by way of decreasing travel time and expenses. These advantages should be utilized to make each telephone sales call an opportunity to find out more about the client’s situation and lead to a potential sale.

The First Impressions
First impressions are always important. When making a cold call, responding to a lead, or following up on a business reply card you have to impress the prospect within the first one-two minutes. It is really important given the fact that people are bombarded with email, phone calls and sales solicitations daily and they love to avoid such calls. Actually reaching a prospect on the telephone is not as easy as it used to be. If you manage to get the prospects on line you should hold their attention and help them to or service quickly by listening and mentioning the benefits to help make the clients life easier. That’s possible when you speak in an unhurried voice, don’t sound like just another sales rep that is looking for a quick sale, sound as if you are truly interested in the need of the prospect. When people find someone is talking about a solution to their needs they get interested. Speak in an unhurried voice. A hurried voice will put off the prospects instantly as they wouldn’t understand what you are saying and if they do, they will fathom that you are a desperate sales person. Speak in a cool, calm, and assured voice. Talk about the needs of the prospect. That is more likely to grab their attention.

Do Your Homework
You have to know as much as possible about the prospect. Try to gather relevant information about the prospects company. Go to their web site; check out their financials and the press room for relevant and timely information that will help you to gain credibility in their eyes. Learn thoroughly about their businesses, lifestyles, tastes, and preferences. Prospects will not have the time to educate you on the phone about those things and will be impressed that you have done your homework.

Watch for Your Language and Body Language
You have to be courteous, respectful, and thankful. Even if the prospect is not able to see you, your voice can clearly reflect your personality. So take care of that. Speak in a pleasant and friendly tone. Make certain that your voice sounds good on the telephone. Record your voice and see how your voice sounds. Stand up and speak while making sales calls. If you are sitting while making calls, sit in an erect position so that your voice is coming out properly giving it the required throw. If you slouch and make a sales call on the phone your tone will reflect carelessness. The tone shouldn’t be too soft or too loud. Use a telephone headset that allows for free movement to express yourself with suitable accompanying body language

Don’t make calls to just add numbers to your sales report. Treat each prospect with due importance and call them with sufficient professionalism. Do adequate research on them before making calls. The total number of calls you make is less important than the quality of the calls you make. So, try experimenting with these telephone sales techniques and sales success may just be a phone call away!

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

The Fundamentals of Sales Management

By Doug Dvorak

Sales leaders and managers frequently talk about: hiring the right people, sales process mapping, sales strategy, sales force deployment and customer coverage, economic drivers of profit of the customer, sales force effectiveness, and sales compensation. The entire gamut of activities listed above and some more tasks form sales management. Selling is the vital activity of a company on which the question of very survival rests. And the entire process of selling involves these tasks that need proper management to ensure a cohesive selling process. After the research and development team has given a credible product to the manufacturing department and the product is out of the manufacturing pipeline, it’s up to the sales team to take the product to the customers and exchange them for money and good will. The onus lies on the shoulders of the sales manager to strategize the sales process and methods so as to bring in the maximum possible revenue as well as forge enduring relationships with the customers. Selling through a team of sales people is possible when the sales manager knows how to manage the sales team to optimize their potential.

Treating the Sales People Well
What then is good sales management? It’s something akin to the Southwest Airlines’ model of sales management. When the entire airline industry is reeling under the blows of skyrocketing fuel prices they are the only airline to have registered profits in 2008. Instead of mulling over job cuts and travel fare hikes the managers have stood behind their sales staff and treated them like family. Whenever an employee had a problem or an employee had an issue with a customer the managers came to their rescue and together they sorted out the issue. They have followed the simple rule, “treat employees the way you wanted to be treated”. That’s the fundamental rule of sales management. A sales manager should be a mentor, guide, and a leader to their team.

Does the sales person shift their gaze to the side when they see a customer approaching? Do they suddenly remember that they have to restock merchandise instead of greeting the customer and getting interested in his needs? A Retail Customer Dissatisfaction Study conducted by Wharton’s Jay H Baker Retail Initiative confirms that the biggest saboteur of profits is a disinterested sales force. When the customer is dissatisfied a good sales manager checks their sale staff first. Recruiting the right sales personnel, providing them adequate training, making all required knowledge accessible to them and motivating them to achieve their sales targets with enthusiasm – all falls under the ambit of responsibility of a sales manager. Half of the sales team management problems wouldn’t arise in the first place if the recruitment process is solid and weeds out people that may turn out to be incompatible to the organization and a sales role.

The fundamentals of sales management includes first knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your team. Is each sales person on the team entrusted with the kind of sales they are capable of? Are they motivated enough to do well in good times and tackle the tough times? Is a sales person compensated well for their achievements? Does the sales manager listen to their suggestions and give feedback? If there is a problem during a call the sales manager should go on “buddy calling”. Buddy calling entails that the manager would accompany the sales person on a call but let them do the job and intervene when the going gets tough. This gives the manager insight in to the way that sales person works and the sales person learns from the manager – on the job.

Keeping the Sales Channel in Peak Condition
Is the sales process vibrant and functional? Has the prospecting been done correctly? Is everything from cold calls to closing deals moving smoothly? A good number of cold calls should lead to real sales when the sales process is effective. Are the sales people concentrating on the needs of the customer? Can the sales process be revamped? Is there an Internet based sales system present? How much selling should be apportioned to the Internet and how much should be accomplished physically? Is there a gap between what’s promised to the customer and what is delivered? Is the delivery taking place in time? These are the things a sales manager should be examining constantly.

The fundamentals of sales management require the observance of some common sales fundamentals. The appearance of sales people should be smart and professional in accordance with the guidelines of the company. They should exude a certain level of confidence in their day-to-day jobs. There has to be proper guidance about prospecting and enough time should be allocated to each prospect based on their worthiness. Presentations and the closing of deals should be of top quality. Periodic training on presentation skill enhancement and personality development workshops improves the competencies of the sales people. All top sales managers spend a good amount of resources on training of their sales force.

It is also essential that sales management take in to account a comprehensive sales strategy. A sales manager should formulate a good sales strategy and execute it well. Execution is as important as strategizing. The role of synchronization – getting the right product to the right customer at the right time, cannot be undermined.

The fundamentals of sales management shouldn’t be confused with something complicated but simple attention to the details in all activity related to sales. A liberal dose of humaneness and loads of common sense as well as a goal oriented approach form the basics of good sales management.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

The Principles of Professional Selling

By Doug Dvorak

The sales profession is the highest paying hard work and the lowest paying easy work. Virtually, the sky is the limit in earning potential in sales. So it‟s obvious that such a profession would require a disciplined and professional approach. A casual and halfhearted approach would only result in lost opportunities and revenues in this field. To rise in sales your approach has to be thoroughly professional. In fact, the more professional you are in your approach the more money you can make. The professional approach to sales is based on certain principles that anybody can follow and master easily.

The Professional Approach
An ordinary approach to sales is what produces mediocre sales people. A professional approach on the other hand transforms an ordinary sales person into a super achiever.

  • Doing Homework Well
    A professional sales person does their homework well before calling prospects or meeting them in person. Even the process of prospecting is done with a professional approach. Bigger prospects are typically given more weight than smaller ones. But all prospects that provide even the smallest sales opportunity are taken in to account. They find out everything that needs to be known about the prospect and sets about calling or meeting them.
  • A Cool Attitude
    The attitude and mannerisms of a professional sales person is cool, calm, and self-assured. They should talk in calm voice and at an unhurried pace.
  • Professional Turn Out
    Attire and appearance speak a lot about professionalism. A personal sales person is smartly dressed. They maintain their mental and physical fitness and acts with honesty and integrity. The old sales adage is “who you are speaks so loudly, of course I can‟t hear what you are saying”. Who we act, dress and communicate, both verbally and non-verbally influences our success with prospects.
  • Proper Etiquette
    You wouldn‟t interrupt the customer while they are talking. You would rather listen to the customer intently. Make note of the customer‟s requirements. Note the objections very clearly.
  • Talking About the Needs of the Customer
    A professional sales person knows that the customer is more interested in themselves. A customer is least bothered if a salesman meets their sales target or not. They don‟t even care to talk on the phone for more than one minute if there is no mention of their needs. A professional sales person knows about this. They tailor the sales presentation to suit the needs of the customer. When their turn comes to talk, a professional sales person talks in a clear and pleasant tone.
  • Removing Objections
    This is where the cool and professional approach comes to the fore. You remove objections so swiftly that the customer doesn‟t even realize that they were ever listening to a sales person. The customer feels as if it was their trusted friend that was removing doubts.
  • Closing Deals
    A professional sales person knows when to talk and when to stop. They don‟t keep rattling on when there is no need to. You also don‟t rush in to close a deal. Your timing is perfect like the drop volley of an ace tennis player. Once you sense the close is approaching you cease the opportunity swiftly and ends the deal with a warm smile and a handshake.
  • Honoring Commitments:
    A sincere salesman only commits what they can deliver. You don‟t over-promise and under-deliver. That‟s a professional approach. A professional sales person would say, “Perhaps we can give you a maximum reduction of 12.5%”. And you would give at least a 12.5% reduction, not less than that. You promise less and deliver more. You wouldn‟t promise a reduction of 15% to the client and retract his commitment.
  • Punctual Service
    A customer‟s time is very important. A professional sales person keeps this in mind and honors every appointment as per schedule. You wait for the customer and never keep the customer waiting for him.
  • Doesn‟t Give Up
    A professional sales person doesn‟t give up easily. A “NO‟ for this person is a signal to try harder.
  • Looking For More
    When one sale has been made with a customer, a professional sales person takes it as just the beginning. You know the same customer may buy more or provide many referrals later.
  • Optimism and stick-to-itiveness are the traits of professional sales people. Professionalism in sales involves paying attention to the details. That‟s where ordinary sales people falter and professional sales people excel.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

Why Build a Qualified Sales Pipeline

By Doug Dvorak

If your management asks you to check your sales pipeline that means you need to pay attention to the leads you are generating and how qualified they are. Your sales numbers will dip if the sales pipe line is not steady and strong enough to help you reach your sales targets. If you are not generating enough qualified leads and qualifying prospects how can you have sales? You will be advised to build a qualified sales pipe line to be effective in selling.

Each sale starts with a lead: a name, a phone number, an email address, a referral, or the person that just walks in to your office or store. The next step is qualifying the leads to determine whether the customer has the need and financial capacity to buy your product or service. For instance, a growing small business owner may have the need of a few personal computers in the office to augment increasing business activity. But does your brand of computers meet his business needs? If yes, how many can they afford to buy at this stage and how many more in the near future?

The next steps are setting appointments with the prospects and giving a demonstration of your product or service to qualify their interest and their ability to purchase. This could lead to a sale and taken all together this is known as the sales process. The first two activities: generating leads and prospecting are key components of a robust a sales pipe line.

Sprinklers, Archery and Sales
The analogy of a sprinkler system best applies to a sales pipe line. When a garden needs to be watered with a sprinkler system there is an elaborate plan. The pipes carrying water are arranged in such a manner that the water flow is steady to all the sprinklers. The game of archery is the perfect analogy for sales. An archer is given many arrows to hit the target. With the given number of arrows they have to maximize their score. The closer their arrows are to the bull’s eye, the more points they receive. Similarly, a sales person creates leads, qualifies them as prospects, and tries selling to them. Just as an archer may not hit the bull’s eye every time they take aim, sales people may not be successful in selling on each call or with each prospect. As an archer tries with more than one arrow to hit the target, the sales person also tries to make a sale with more than one prospect. In fact the game of archery requires the archer to carry all the arrows with them. Successful sales people keep trying with many prospects and prospects come from leads.

Ten or more leads may provide the sales person with one good prospect. And one in ten such prospects may actually buy. This is the basic premise of a sales pipe line.

Steady Sales Pipe Line
Though the archer gets many arrows to use, still they are fixed in number. They have to utilize their skills in notching up the best score by hitting the bull’s eye repeatedly at a given point in time. Likewise, a sales person generates a fixed number of leads during a sales day. For example, a computer sales person targeting a high rise building in Manhattan housing 50 offices can have 50-100 leads at the maximum (assuming that in some offices they may get the chance to sell to individual employees in addition to catering to the official requirements of the firms) from that building. Their sales would depend on how they manage the 50-100 leads.

There are no infinite number of leads and prospects. Every market segmented on the basis of location, income, and preferences of the consumers are limited in size. Wisdom lies in utilizing the leads and prospects properly and converting them in to sales. Careless exhaustion of the list of leads will only result in spoiling the chances of selling. Each lead has to be dealt with carefully. Each prospect has to be worked on attentively.

While taking each lead and prospect with due attention and sincerity a good performer in sales builds a steady pipe line of leads and prospects. Once a list of leads is exhausted fresh leads will be needed. High performers in sales always have a steady sales pipe line by renewing it with newer leads and prospects. They also include past and current customers in this sales pipe line. Fresh requirements from existing customers are no less important to sales than a new hot prospect.

With the possibility of rejections the only way a sales person can achieve their sales quota is to generate the maximum number of leads and qualify the maximum number of prospects out of them and thereby increase the chances of selling. The generation of qualified leads and prospects should be steady and voluminous. And each lead and prospect should be worked on diligently so that not a single one is wasted. This is the essence of a qualified sales pipe line which holds the key to maximizing sales.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

Executive Briefing – How Sales Process Improvement Can
Help to Increase Margins and Revenue Growth!

By Doug Dvorak

I find it useful to remember, everyone lives by selling something.

Robert Louis Stevenson

We never lead with product; we lead with need.

Zig Ziglar

My creativity strikes at the heart of sales – it’s focused on building relationships, improving presentations, and closing a sale.

Sidney Friedman

“Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”

Unknown

Introduction
In the rapidly changing landscape of business, competition is stiff. Customers are more sophisticated and demanding in the face of better available options. A sales opportunity can become clouded or loose momentum with the constant requirements on the part of businesses to add more customers, crunch the sales numbers, and boost profits.

To achieve aggressive revenue targets and meet customer needs businesses have to make organized and systematic approaches. Sales form a formidable part of such approaches. Robust sales along with other factors such as: better products or services, attention grabbing advertising, and reliable customer service help businesses successfully in attracting and retaining customers, generating more revenue, and pushing profit levels higher.

A better product or service may not necessarily translate into higher revenues. How the product or service is launched in a specific market can determine revenue. Selling is widely regarded as an art form. Those born with innate talents for a career in sales can succeed, but success can be elusive for the most seasoned sales professional if they do not follow a process. Academicians however, stress that a sales genius may have inborn talents for the trade, but with adequate training any average interested person can turn out to be an outstanding salesman. The topic still remains as the Holy Grail. However, each business has its own sales force using a unique selling model. And all successful businesses have some common sales methods.

Underscoring the Importance of a Sales Process
Having touched upon the weight of sales in business processes it will be necessary to note that robust selling is based on a sturdy and effective sales process. If you are saying, “we do not have the time to work on the process, we have numbers to meet” – your approach may not be right and you might want to reconsider it. To reach the destination, the path should be right and the journey should be enjoyable. Many salespeople are so caught up with the numbers (targets and quotas) that they do not enjoy the process. They do not realize that if the process is correct and executed properly that will take care of the numbers. In fact, true and successful sales professionals work the process thoroughly and enjoy each phase of the exciting sales process that finally ends with stellar sales figures. Being process driven is the mantra. The results will follow naturally.

A sales process is not a panacea, but many organizations are increasingly realizing that it’s an indispensable tool that no business can do without. Having a sales methodology in place by firms increased to 84% in 2007 from 42% in 2004 (Source: CSO Insight). Analysis of all successful businesses shows that they all adhere to and execute against a well-defined sales process. Though the exact structure and methodology of operation of their sales processes may differ, they all serve the purpose of boosting sales. An effective sales process is the strong edifice on which the entire structure of sales stands. A weak and ineffective sales process will produce poor sales results and hamper growth as a strong and effective sales process can boost sales and help to increase margins. It is imperative for businesses to have a fail-safe, well-defined and solid sales process in place.

Sales process and sales staff complement each other to take a company to the desired level of growth. One cannot work without the other. A persuasive and experienced sales staff may not be able to perform at its optimum level when the sales process of a company is not efficient. But when the combinations are right the results can be astounding.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

How Quality in a Sales Process Improves Sales

By Doug Dvorak

There were days when companies thought about improving the product alone to enhance sales. In today’s hyper-competitive global market, growing sales is typically based on improving the sales process first. Understanding the sales process and how best the sales force is adapting to it will enable companies to focus on the sales resources better.

A commitment to quality in the sales process is central to the growth dynamics of any enterprise. Each step in a sales process should be well defined and the action to be performed clearly set. Beginning from researching leads to closing a sale, everything should move in clockwork precision. Apparently trivial things can make a huge difference to the final outcome. So care must be taken to strengthen every action involved in each step of the sales process. And often it’s mistakenly assumed that sales

process improvement means sales training. Sales training may be a part of the sales process improvement training, but it is a broader subject.

Following are some examples of how improving the sales process can make a difference.

Fresh and Creative Prospecting – The list of leads should be current and include as many qualified leads as possible. Trying to qualify prospects from a partially redundant list of leads is going to waste your time and prospecting efforts. A firm with a stale source of leads has got it all wrong from the beginning. Working on the leads and checking for their revenue potential will mean that you start your prospecting activities from a position of sales strength. This will require good lead generating and customer relationship management (CRM) practices.

A Chilean company, Andrueza Patrimonios, rode the wave of economic boom and made impressive growth. But soon the sales force found that they were making duplicate calls and that the information gathered during sales calls with clients were lost. This is the example of a terrible loss because of the absence of a good customer relationship management – CRM – program to keep track of all the information.

All possible channels of generating leads should be considered. Have you tried social networking websites apart from trade shows, seminars, and lists of companies as potential customers? Do you know how and when each of your prospects prefers to be contacted? A good sales process makes provisions for all of these sales actions.

Response Time and Quality
Sales depend on external customers that have identifiable expectations from your company. They wish that their questions and concerns be responded to within a reasonable time limit. They expect a certain level of clarity and objectivity in the answers they receive from salespeople. A simple issue, such as response time to a new client inquiry can make a huge difference to actual sales outcomes. When a customer wants a proposal from a company she/he expects to get an initial response within a few hours and an actual proposal within a reasonable time frame depending the size and nature of the project. If a sales rep fails to send a proposal in a reasonable time-frame he is out of the race even before it has begun.

Technology can play a vital role in responding quickly. An email from the customer can be accessed when out of the office and responded to instantly through a Blackberry, Palm, and Windows Mobile. There are many customer relationship management- CRM- tools out there that are inexpensive and yet very useful. It is a sin not to be using these devices to get back to customers immediately.

A set of winning proposals of past sales can be stored in your company data bank and every salesperson should be allowed free access to them.

The stored proposals should cater to all permutations and combinations of customer requirements within all budget ranges. So the moment there is a proposal request from a customer, a sales rep will just have to search for a few proposals broadly fitting the customer’s requirements from the archive. From those the best one suiting the customer and the sales opportunity should be selected. This should only take a few minutes. Changing the content of the proposal to tailor it to the exact need of the customer is what the rep in question has to work on before sending it to the customer. Remember customers appreciate a quick response. A delayed response may reach a customer when the deal is already closed.

Streamlining Product Information
A Fortune 50 telecom company had 300 product descriptions on its web site that were being referred to by its sales force of 5000 people spread all over the world. The product description was done by several authors and lacked coherence as well as uniformity in voice. That caused confusion among the sales reps and they found it difficult to provide consistent information. They couldn’t find quick answers and when they found answers those didn’t match the sales process. They didn’t trust the web site. A consulting firm was roped in to set the problem right. The consulting firm streamlined the product information and created a logical and intuitive navigation framework for the web site to support the sales process.

The consulting firm rewrote the product descriptions in a uniform style. Salespersons could now access information at every step of the sales process and there was consistency in the information they obtained. They could digest the information easily and share it with the clients.

The revamping resulted in the elimination of 66% of unnecessary information and a 70% increase in web site use and traffic. The division manager of product marketing for the telecom company admitted that the bottom line was – a huge boost to sales productivity and revenue.

(Source: www.weberassoc.com/data/files/TelecommunicationsPortal3.pdf).
A good sales process should be revamped to include uniform product information and the best resources available for salespeople. There should also be effective product samples at the disposal of sales force for demonstrations.

Customer Focused not Vendor Focused
Sales process guru Michael Bosworth firmly believes that sales processes should be customer focused. They should address the need of the customer. Vendor focused processes cause confusion and delays. The customer is always interested in and tuned into radio station WIIFM, “what’s in it for me”? A sales process should be modified to communicate that.

Spending Time with the Prospects – Does a prospect qualify for your time and attention? If yes, how much? Genuine prospects should be paid attention to and it is wise not to waste too much time on prospects that won’t buy. Distinguishing between the two categories is a fine balancing act that every salesperson in the organization must know. Research has shown that the best salespersons spend considerably more quality time with their top prospects.

They also spend less time on paper work. A survey conducted by Watson Wyatt of 841 salespeople from 500 companies with large sales forces has established that the best sales professionals from financially high performing companies working for high incentives and stock options invest 40% more time on their best prospects and spend an additional 3-4 hours on high-value sales activities than their counterparts do in financially low performing companies. These achievers also analyze the needs of the prospects in detail and allot more time to prospects that they know.

If a good sales rep is producing satisfying results but taking an inordinately long time to do so he could be the victim of this – getting hypnotized by posh offices of potential customers and spending more time than necessary there. Some of the high-profile potential customers may actually be looking for very competitive prices for low volume of purchase. They may be valuable as customers but are the long hours and special attention lavished on them worth it? An effective sales process should weed out such time consuming practices. It can lay out a broad time range to be allotted to different categories of customers.

Too Close to a Good Closing Yet Missing Out – Do you have sales reps that get very close to a fruitful closing but don’t succeed in clinching the deal? They do everything right to get there, but miss the target by a whisker. There are uncountable numbers of sales efforts that have come very close to a successful deal and failed at the last minute. The reason – lack of knowledge of proper closing techniques. A solid sales process lays down the best closing practices to be followed. Be aware if your salespeople are asking the right questions or offering the right incentives to close a deal? Are they practicing active listening techniques and allowing the customer to talk? Are they allowing the customer to say “yes” to a deal? Are they keeping some offers until the end as final incentives to strike a deal?

An effective sales process makes it clear to all sales reps to use the best closing techniques.

Repeat Business – Referrals – Signing a deal is not the end of the sales plan, it’s just the beginning. There are more deals in the offing and a good sales process recognizes that. Repeat business is easier and cheaper than prospecting for new business and every sales process should include steps to procure repeat business via a referral process. After a sale has been made the sales rep should follow up with the customer about the performance of the product and the degree of satisfaction of the customer. If the customer is happy with the product than it can lead to repeat sales or sales through his network of contacts. A sales process gives this fact due consideration and mandates that sales reps don’t wash their hands of a customer after the sale is made.

Practical Sales Process – Take an honest opinion poll of your sales reps and find out what they feel about the company’s sales process. If the majority of them feel that it’s – “Too theoretical”, “It worked back in 2001”, “Management’s fantasy”, or “Cast in computerized concrete” – it’s time for you to consider overhauling or changing the entire sales process.

Sometimes a problem may lie with a single step and may need slight modification. Evaluate periodically how your sales process is performing. Watch out for weak areas and fortify them. A sales audit can help in identifying problem areas that require attention.

It is less of an art and more a scientific formula that the combination of a smart sales process and efficient salespeople almost always produce astounding results. Companies therefore should have a vibrant and workable sales process in place to aid their sales force in achieving their sales targets smoothly.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

How Sales Training Consultants Empower Sales Forces

By Doug Dvorak

Sales coaches and sales training speakers are veterans in the field of sales. Equipped with years of hard on-field experience these pundits know how and what works in sales. They enrich their knowledge derived from higher education in business or sales and marketing administration with a liberal dose of practical wisdom. Staying up-to-date with the evolving technologies that relate to sales, they provide the best sales skills training. From macro to micro level, these astute sales coaches are adept at dealing with all sorts of problems dogging the sales department of an organization. Their deep insight and practical suggestions help businesses improve their overall sales performance. Sales management consultants are great psychologists too and can easily read the body language and attitude of sales people and suggest remedies if need be. They come loaded with tons of motivational and positive energy to charge up a sluggish and lackluster sales force.

Sales training speakers lift up the sagging morale of the sales force of an organization. Sales management consultants zero in on the problems bothering the sales team. Out of the box thinking and uncritical way of suggesting solutions endear them to the sales team and their ideas are accepted without much resistance. Sales training consultants also lay down flawless sales processes for businesses. Sales management consultants check each and every step of the sales process of a business and track down flaws. Their latest ideas and methods help in overhauling faulty sales processes completely. They identify the strengths and weaknesses of the sales force and suggest ways to overcome the weaknesses and capitalize on the strengths.

Sales training speakers empower sales teams with their insightful advices. Their sales tips change the attitude of the sales people of an organization. They teach the sales staff to take control and be in charge. Ideally, sales can happen in a situation where the prospect has a problem or a need and the sales person provides a solution to the problem or addresses the need. That means the solution provider, the sales person should be in control, and not the solution seeker. Productive sales training consulting is based on this and trains sales persons to operate from a point of strength and not weakness. Sales training speakers from good sales training institutes motivate and prepare winners. And most importantly they do it in the most pleasant and inoffensive way.

Business and Motivational Sales Training – Target Areas
A professional sales trainer identifies what ails the sales department and then he sets about his job of fixing things. The aim of the sales management consultant is to identify weak areas and suggest remedies to fortify them. It could be the lack of proper co-ordination between the sales and the customer service department that‟s resulting in a lot of communication gaps and giving rise to confusion in the minds of the customers. Or it could be the poor after sales service that is fetching less repeat business.

A reputable sales training institute and its trainer will pin down the causes of low performance with thorough analysis of every aspect of sales and related issues of the company. A simple thing as an unclear product description brochure could confuse the sales staff. The sales staff may be following an ineffective or a sales process that they view as “too theoretical” or “management‟s fantasy”. A professional sales training consultant would detect the flaws and suggest remedial measures.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

How to Define A Sales Process for Sales Success!

By Doug Dvorak

Defining a Sales Process
In simple terms, a sales process is a systematic approach involving a series of steps that enables a sales force to close more deals, increase margins and make more sales through referrals.

The ‘series of steps’ are customer-centric and help the sales force of a company to retain customers and increase sales volume as well as revenues. The ‘series of steps’ are systematic and not haphazard. Random acts produce random and uncertain results. In sales, random acts can be used occasionally, but a systematic and well-defined best practices approach can assure predictable results.

The establishment and implementation of a sales process with definable steps in a company could result in:

  • Predictable Outcomes – desired and predictable outcomes through a series of actions that could lead to more sales and higher margins.
  • Repeatable Activities – activities that should be repeated to obtain the desired outcomes again and again by any salesperson within the organization
  • Tangible Results – the outcomes that can be measured and compared
  • Relevancy for Others – A good sales process may be cloned to suit other organizations and they may emulate a successful sales process model. A group of companies may apply a particularly productive sales process to all or some of its divisions.
    Simply having a sales process in place doesn’t guarantee anything, just like simply buying and installing exercising equipment doesn’t lead to a chiseled body. Proper use makes the difference. Actively using and a desire to become willing to implement a sales process could lead to more sales.

Normally a sales process involves the following key steps:

  1. Prospecting
  2. Qualifying
  3. Proposal/presentation
  4. Handling Objections
  5. Closing
  6. Follow-up for repeat business – referrals

Characteristics of an Effective Sales Process
Any ordinary sales process may produce the desired results in normal times. But an effective sales process has elasticity to accommodate extra ordinary situations. Is your company prepared to meet a sudden spike in demand for your products or services?

Does your sales process have the elasticity to deal with fluctuations in customer buying trends? Is your customer database current and up-to-date? Does your sales process take in to account the change in buyer tastes and preferences?

Effective sales processes stand the rigors of changing times and market conditions and produce the best possible results in most circumstances. An effective sales process produces sales results with unerring precision as a manufacturing unit produces finished products. An effective sales process manufactures customers. It’s a ‘customer manufacturing system’. Isn’t that an awesome productivity tool for any company to own?

Just as a manufacturing unit uses raw materials, strategy, technology, and manpower to produce finished goods, a sales process can be viewed as an integrated method where manpower refers to the sales force, the product or service is the raw material, strategy refers to sales plans and methods, and technology refers to the latest communication and sales technologies.

A results oriented sales process accomplishes the following tasks:

  • Identifying and qualifying leads so as to take in to account only those prospects that truly have the potential to buy according to their importance to assign the right resources to each of them. Successful salespeople spend more time with their top revenue producing accounts.
  • Impress the customer with the uniqueness of the product/service and your company
  • Talk about the ‘need’ of the customer and develop customized value propositions to solve their business issue.
  • Convince the customer that your company is the one that can take care of the ‘need’ and none can do it better than you.
  • Assess the purchasing power of each potential customer
  • Larger percentage of profitable sales.
  • Forge stronger bonds between the company and the customers through the sales staff.
  • Exploring the possibility of up selling and repeat business. Ensure repeat business through adequate customer satisfaction and proper follow up. It costs five to eight times more to acquire a new customer than selling to an existing customer. (Source: Personal Selling Power Magazine)

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

Sales Training and Coaching – The Why Behind the How!

By Doug Dvorak

Realize that selling is a numbers game. Get more no‟s and you‟ll get more yes‟s.
Sidney Friedman
When you miss the sale, it is even more important to make a cheerful, friendly, optimistic, and courteous exit than it is when you make the sale.

Zig Ziglar

  • Don‟t pity yourself
  • Start each day with a target
  • Be friendly always
  • Always set an additional step then necessary
  • Be alert for each opportunity
  • Each problem has a positive side
  • Laugh in moment of hatred and anger
  • Concentrate on one thing
  • Be proud and satisfied
  • Examine the acts of the day at night
  • Og Mandino

The Value of Training
A kung Fu master trains his disciples about the rigors involved in learning the intricacies of movements of the martial art form. Every Samurai warrior has a master. A tiger cub learns the skill of hunting from his mother. A mamma bear teaches her cubs where to stand in the stream to catch fish without being swept off by the strong currents. Music students are trained by virtuosos in perfecting notes, professional athletes train under expert coaches constantly pushing the limits of endurance and strength, experienced mechanics guide trainee mechanics, and parents acquaint their children about the ways of the world and train them in social skills. Every skill that has to be learned requires training. Ever imagined a pilot or a ballet dancer without training?

Sales – a formidable part of daily life and that is practiced by everybody is no exception to this rule. Though the debate is still on – whether a good sales man is a natural seller or a trained one, there is no denying the fact that training can improve sales skills and effectiveness. Of course, there are natural super sales men, artists, actors, wealth makers, and other geniuses that are not formally trained by anybody. But their numbers are very limited and even they have received some form of guidance at the initial stages of their career by unsung coaches, trainers, or parents. Tiger Woods may not have been trained as Andre Agassi was coached by the celebrity coach Nick Bolletierri, but he learnt the nuances of golf from his father in his initial years before ascending the rungs.

Sales skill is a part science and part art form that can be honed to perfection with practice under the guidance of a guru. Sales involves product knowledge, good communication and presentation skills, understanding buyer psychology, terrific people skills, and a positive attitude. On the surface it may sound simple but sales involves complex techniques and requires a mastery over them. Neither everyone is endowed with these qualities since birth, nor do they join sales fully loaded with the requisite qualities. Sales skills training target these aspects of sales and empower sales personnel with the necessary skills to win over customers.

Business sales training prepares rookies in sales to learn the tricks of the trade. Those with experience in sales also may sometimes get disheartened and will be at a loss to explain their low performance. They benefit from the expertise of a sales guru‟s motivational sales training. Every organization that has a sales department invests in sales and marketing training to enhance the skill levels of its sales force. Some do it frequently and others periodically. Sales management training imparted by sales management consultants may target the sales process adopted by a business or its entire sales force for performance enhancement.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

How Asking For Referrals Can Increase Your Sales
Effectiveness By 25%

By Doug Dvorak

There are companies that hardly use any advertisements and mainly do business on referrals. These companies have realized the value of referrals. For them referred clients are worth their weight in gold for their potential to bring business. Sales professionals may get tired of making cold calls and meeting with prospects. The chances of conversions of cold calls in to sales are very thin in comparison to referrals getting translated in to sales.

Why Referrals Work
There are solid reasons why referrals work. A referred client trusts the selling company easily, because he trusts the referrer. Simply because the referred client‟s friend or relative has used the product and kind of vouchsafes its quality there is very little convincing required. It‟s only a matter of few additional questions and the sales person can close the deal.

Let‟s consider some examples here. A consumer is more likely to subscribe to a broadband connection service when a friend that is already using the same services approves of the quality. The same consumer might have turned down earlier offers from the broadband service provider‟s sales men.

You are more likely to join a social networking group when your friends invite you to join in rather than by the persuasion of advertisements. Mrs. Cynthia Jones is more likely to use the lawn mowing services of a company if that has been referred to her by her friend Mrs. Deborah Hill. She would just call up Deborah to ascertain that actually the company in question does a good job of lawn mowing.

Referrals not only work, they work faster. The referred client has hardly any doubts because he trusts his friend or relative that has already used the product. He wouldn‟t want to look like a doubting Thomas when his friends have already purchased the product.

Every sales person and business men therefore should look for referrals.

Ask and Ye Shall Receive
Referrals are obtained by simply asking, in a proper way of course. The timing of asking for referrals is crucial. Some sales professionals commit the mistake of asking for referrals immediately after they have sold to a client. That is absolutely wrong. The client has just made a purchase and given something. He will be disinclined to refer anybody without using the product for sometime. The best time to ask for a referral is to wait for a few days till the client has used the product and is happy with it. Also after a customer service complaint has been attended to satisfactorily, referrals can be obtained from the customer.

Research points out that 30 days after the purchase, a customer is typically ready to give his opinion of the product. Her happiness peaks at this point of time. So the best way get referrals is to call up the customer and find out whether she is happy with the product? Really happy customers would gladly reel off names and contact addresses of friends and associates. Sales persons can work on these referrals to get more and quicker sales.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

Speed Selling

By Doug Dvorak

What is It?
Pace isn‟t everything in life. But let‟s admit it – moving in slow motion can be boring sometimes. That‟s why people pack a speedway at a NASCAR event and not the long rallies of a Formula One Race that can take days to be complete. Basketball and baseball games are more popular than golf because they are of shorter durations than the game of golf. This is an age of instant results or instant gratification. The busy mother has to buy a DVD after her aerobics class and then dash back home to be with her 6 year old to help with homework before she can prepare dinner and then finally get the time to watch the DVD with her 6 year old daughter at bedtime. There is hardly any time to talk to her friends about the DVD and whether the movie was good or bad. That‟s not a big deal; at least the DVD will serve the purpose today. If it‟s good it‟s good, if not she is never going to buy another one with the same title. Simple.

Society‟s craving for convenience has resulted in another form of a grab and go thing that has become a rage – speed dating. Barring driving, speed works in many situations because today life is moving at a hectic pace. There are even people that do not think much about the results or consequences. They do not probe much about the quality. What they see is what they get. They have minutes to make decisions. If they think a restaurant could be good, they go ahead and eat there. Repenting or rejoicing is saved for later. For the moment they can think only of the hunger.

In tandem with today‟s pace and mindset, speed selling has caught up with the imagination of buyers and sellers. Speed selling is a selling event or sales training process where a seller typically spends less time with each prospective buyer and moves on to the next buyer quickly until he finally makes a sale. The speed selling training exercise can help new and veteran sales professionals to understand the true needs of the prospect faster, while focusing on articulating value at every point in the sales process. Much like a dating service where prospective partners can size each other up for compatibility within minutes in speed selling the buyer can know whether the seller can meet his requirements and the seller would sense immediately whether the prospect is likely to buy from him. The beauty of it all is that it happens fast without wasting much time from either person‟s side. This saves precious time and the seller can move on to the next prospect without much delay. The over all sales efficiency increases by this method as more prospects are covered in less time.

Why Buyers Prefer Speed Selling

  • For the buyers that are indecisive about a purchase, speed selling is a boom. It can end the “storm in the tea cup” kind of turmoil brewing in the mind of the customer and closing of the sale would result in much needed relief for him. They would be relieved to have overcome the niggling pull and push going in their minds
  • There are buyers that are a bit adventurous and venture in to unexplored territories to try out newer products, lesser known companies, or give other reputed brand names a chance. They relish the privilege of being the first in their respective business and social circles to give verdict about the product.
  • Speed selling cuts a lot of what the prospects think as sales or small talk and saves them valuable time.

Why Sales Professionals Prefer Speed Selling

  • You can sell more in less time
  • It saves a lot of energy and allows them to concentrate on bigger sales with more prospects.
  • Speed selling can be tried with prospects and suspects. A prospect is someone who has a need, desire, money and authority to purchase now or in the next 30 days. S suspect is someone who is “kicking tires” and is not really serious about making a purchasing decision. More time is then spent with the prospect, not the less important suspect and more sales are made.

Speed Selling Training Methods
Speed selling works best in an open atmosphere where a number of buyers and sellers for a single products or service meet up. The potential buyers know that there are more than one supplier of the product and the sellers don‟t latch all their hopes on to one prospect. The sellers spend less time with the prospects then they normally do, so do the prospects with them. Within a very short time they sort out each others needs, desires and decide if they are a good fit for a transaction.

The methods of speed selling don‟t deviate largely from traditional sales approaches. They are more like speed dating methods. What you see is what you get. But they require due consideration as they are subtlety involved in this approach.

  • Speed selling requires thorough preparation. It can be done with role playing exercises with your colleagues or friends before actual speed selling events occur. Apportion a short period of time (5 or 10 minutes for each prospect). Set a maximum time limit beyond which you are not going to spend with any prospect.
  • Prepare your sales presentation. Make it brief. There is simply no time for lengthy and time consuming “sales speak”. Keep the unnecessary details away. Make your pitch short and crisp. But make it incisive and punchy. Include only the vital points. Sell the sizzle, not the steak.
  • Prepare a set of objections that you might face in an actual sales scenario. And devise their answers. The answers also should be brief.
  • Practice to complete your presentation within the stipulated time without looking at your wristwatch. Repeatedly looking at the watch could give the impression that you are not interested in the prospect.
  • Be presentable. Be well groomed and look presentable, “dress for success” for the speed selling occasion.
  • Be presentable. Be well groomed and look presentable, “dress for success” for the speed selling occasion.
  • Be relaxed and have a positive frame of mind. This is just another way of selling. There is bound to be some amount of success. If there is none, no problem. It will be a learning exercise.
  • Be punctual and arrive in time. Complete all the formalities and paper work well before the actual meetings start. Keep a few minutes in hand to “get into the zone” before you start meeting up prospects. Pep yourself up for the occasion.
  • Treat each prospect as a potential customer. No one should be ignored, because it doesn‟t consume much time. The sales executive can afford to spend a few minutes on each prospect even if it doesn‟t convert in to sales. It is good trying and losing rather than losing by not trying.
  • Qualify the prospect by using open-ended questions like, who what, when where and why.
  • Focus on your current prospect. Keep eye contact and body language positive and stand at the ready to communicate openly and with enthusiasm with the prospect and do not look over his/her shoulder to see who is next.
  • Listen intently and ask pertinent questions in a polite and inoffensive manner.
  • Always stay focused and bring the conversation back to your business and the true needs and desires of the prospect.
  • Be honest with the prospects. The prospects have the luxury of talking to your competitors and finding out what is the truth. So sound convincing. If you are caught off guard in one briefing or presentation the domino effect could spoil your entire speed selling effort.
  • Be prepared to answer the prospects objections. Think on your feet, there is no time to go back and ponder over the issue and comeback with an answer. Give answers then and there. To do that you must do your home work.
  • Look for the body language and observe the use of words. If the prospect expresses interest seize the opportunity. Almost the same verbal cues work here that work in case for traditional sales.
  • Encourage the prospect to quit delaying and take a decision now. In a traditional sale normally when a prospect dithers it is advised to spend some time and persuade the prospect to buy now. But here you just finish it with one or two questions.
  • Do not linger for more than the maximum set time limit. Try to close within the time limit set. If it happens within that time frame fine, if it doesn‟t probably it will not happen by spending more time on it.
  • Move on to the next prospect without wasting much time, despite the outcome of the last attempt. This is the only step speed selling deviates from speed dating. In speed dating the rejection or selections are not known immediately, but in speed selling it is out then and there. Do not get disheartened by rejections. Also do not get elated by a sale. Some people don‟t like too much of excitement in the voices they are listening to. Maintain a steady tone. Equanimity is the key. There will be plenty of time to rejoice at the end of it all.
  • Always be courteous and treat each prospect with respect irrespective of whether the prospect buys or not. May be your other prospect that is interested in buying from you is just standing a few feet away and observing you. Always thank your prospects sincerely at the end of your sales talk or pitch. Appreciate them for spending time listening to you.
    With a positive attitude and the necessary salesmanship qualities speed selling can yield amazing results quickly. Following these methods should result in a fair amount of success.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

How To Anticipate And Handle Objections With Confidence

By Doug Dvorak

Objections are the hurdles that keep sales people a step away from closing. The swift removal of objections invariably leads to the closing of the sale. Only the well prepared sales person succeeds in removing the objections in a convincing manner.

Anticipating Objections
No prospect is just waiting there with check books in hand and grinning from ear to ear to buy products or services. Prospects enjoy the freedom to choose among products and the power to ask various questions, raise objections, and express doubts about the products they are attempted to be sold to. The lesser the urgency to buy the product more pronounced would be the objections, irrespective of the quality of the product. Even sales people selling the best quality products and services face objections. Prospects want ensure that the products and services they are purchasing are worth it. These are but natural parts of a sales process. A sales person should take these as fixed features of the sales process and be prepared to overcome these convincingly.

Anticipating objections require a good deal of home work. A sales person should list out a possible set of objections. Many companies train their sales staff about possible objections and their convincing answers. However, every sales person should devise additional anticipated objections and prepare their answers. Find out from your colleagues what objections they encounter. Prepare a comprehensive list and their answers. A friend could help in this exercise and ascertain whether the answers are satisfying or not.

Handling Objections
The attitude towards objections should be positive. To an optimistic and positive sales person objections are opportunities disguised. When a prospect raises valid objections it means he has paid attention to the briefings or the demonstrations of the sales person. The objections signify that he is interested or may get interested if his objections are removed and doubts are clarified. Viewed from this perspective, objections should enthuse sales persons.

Prior preparation makes the task of handling objections easier. More than the knowledge of the solutions to objections, it‟s the attitude in handling objections that matters. Sales professionals should not get agitated while trying to remove objections that could range from the most valid to the most stupid ones. Each of the objections raised by the prospect should be noted down in detail. Starting with the toughest one, all objections must be removed one-by-one in a calm and pleasant manner. Tackling the toughest objection makes the job easier to convince about the smaller ones as the prospect is almost won over.

Show respect and allow the prospect to voice the objections completely. Make sure that you have heard the objections clearly and reflect the objection back to the prospect for clarity. If he/she states “the price is too high”, you can reflect it back to them by saying, “the price is too high.” And then set about answering the objections in a convincing and positive manner. Move from one objection to the next one only when you have removed the objection completely. Let your attitude be positive and genuinely pleasant throughout the process as those are the over riding factors to remove objections to close a deal.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

How the Qualification Process and Asking the Right Questions will Help You to Make More Sales?

By Doug Dvorak

The old qualification processes were based on intuition. Sales people visited prospects on sheer positive expectation. There are some sales people who still do the same. But as the list of prospects grow it is wise to select prospects and qualify them with due consideration. This saves time and energy. There is no point in giving a full scale demonstration to a lead only to be told at the end that their company‟s budget doesn‟t cover the cost of the product.

Sales executives should be working only on those prospects that are likely to convert to consumers or clients. The prospects should have the potential and need to become a client. There should be a genuine requirement and scope for buying by the prospect. And there are so many considerations that go in to determining whether a prospect is likely to become a client. A sales man should explore everything related to this aspect to save valuable energy and time. This is possible with the asking of a few meaningful questions: some directed at the prospect and some to be answered by the sales person himself. Sales people should make it a point to probe deeply before qualifying a prospect. The sources could be low rung employees in the purchase department, managers, vendors supplying products, the vice president, and if need be the CEO of the company. This would improve the actual sales to prospects ratio and the over all effectiveness of the sales process.

  1. Will it Enhance the Lives of the Prospects: We are going here a bit further than the “need‟ of the lead. When a lead has a need he unquestionably qualifies as a prospect. But at times a lead may not be aware of a requirement and there is no harm in the sales person reminding him of it. So here first the sales person has to question himself whether the product has any usefulness for the lead. He may confirm this with the lead to qualify him as a prospect. For example, a small bank branch is likely to require hi-tech and latest security equipment. Hi-tech security equipment is a necessity for banks that store money in their vaults. A security equipment sales person can consider qualifying such a bank as a prospect, not before getting the answers for a few more questions.
  2. Will their Budget Permit it: The next obvious question is will their budget permit the procurement of the product? In the above example, the bank has a requirement for hi-tech equipment. The sales person should ask the lead how much they allocate for the purchase of security equipment and find out whether it can cover the entire costs including installation and maintenance costs of the equipment.
    The questions should be clear cut and the conclusions based on the answers should be amenable to sound reasoning. If an authentic source from the bank says that they had purchased a huge quantity of equipment the last year could either mean they may do so again this year or may not require any equipment at all in the near future. So, more specific questions need to be asked to prepare a solid list of qualified prospects.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

How To Use Creative Prospecting Techniques For Sales Success

By Doug Dvorak

Prospects are important in sales – without them it‟s like a salesman without a job. Thoughtful prospecting translates in to actual sales. The ratio of actual sales to prospects goes up when leads are worked on creatively and in fresh ways.

Those who like sales accept prospecting as a fun way to get to know new people. The idea should be to build a professional relation and not just start a sales pitch. When the focus is on building a professional relation, the clients show interest because there is something in there for them. Also, a sales person should be ready to face many rejections and not get disheartened by them. With a winning attitude sales personnel should go about prospecting in these following creative ways.

Old Wine in a New Bottle
Many age old prospecting techniques may have become redundant in today‟s fast paced world. But some techniques, like wine, get better with age. Modifying a few of them a bit and adding a fresh approach these sales techniques can produce wonderful results.

The old technique was to make phone calls to existing customers, past clients, referrals, contacts obtained through networking, colleagues, and new companies. The new technique is to use the same method slightly differently. Find out how your leads prefer to be sold to. Do they prefer being emailed or phoned or both? Publishing is a big business and there are publishers that do not accept any manuscript sent to them electronically. Does the concerned person want being contacted through his juniors or prefer direct approach? Does he get impressed when you refer his elite social network friends through whom you got his contacts? Use of social networking sties such as Linkin and Meetup will help you to find new leads and more information about your leads resulting in more sales.

Meeting at Unusual Places
Golf courses, bowling alleys, tennis clubs, reading clubs, vacation resorts etc. are unusual places where prospects should be met and the foundation for a professional relationship built in a relaxed atmosphere.

Win the Security People
Now security people are an indispensable part of every organization. In fact, to meet or contact a manager, a sales person has to cross them first. So it pays to be friendly and charming to the security people. They may give invaluable hints about the way an organization or a contact person operates, including how the VP prefers to be contacted. If a sales person is warm and friendly at the entrance of a building he is more likely to stay that way when he is inside it.

Newer Tools


Use newer tools to communicate. When contacting on phone if there is the possibility of using video phone that‟s better. Many top executives prefer to flaunt their techno savvy ways. They should be lauded for their enthusiasm to keep updated with fast evolving monstrous communication technology. They will be glad when communicated through latest communicating tools such as: Skype, video conferencing, social networking websites etc.

Creative ways of prospecting are endless. It just requires a slight imagination and commonsense to turn the ordinary prospecting method in to an inspiring and lively one.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

How Trial Closing And Closing Techniques Can Save You
Time And Help You To Make More Sales

By Doug Dvorak

No sales professional ever intends to get stuck in one sale for a longer period than required. They would like to move on to the next prospect after closing a sale as soon as possible. That‟s the way to increase total sales volume. Closing techniques ensure that a sales conversation ends with a deal. Depending on the situation sales professionals implement any one or more of the several closing techniques that are generally used.

Trial Closing
Before finally sealing the deal sales persons also employ trial closing techniques to test the readiness of the prospect in buying the product or service. With a trial closing the interest of the prospect with regard to buying the product can be judged. A trial close is an attempt to determine how close the prospect is to actual closing. Trial closing is a low risk method of gauging the prospect‟s opinion. It‟s an opinion seeking tool and not a decision seeking one. Sales professionals use this technique to gauze the mood of the prospect and alter their presentations accordingly.

Without a trial closing a sales person may run in to trouble trying to close the deal. A negative answer to a close cannot turn into a positive one easily. A prospect may stick to his decision and defend it. A negative response to a trial closing on the other hand is just a signal for the sales person to change strategy. Sometimes a trial closing will actually result in a real close and even if it doesn‟t it will let the sales person know when or what needs to be done to close the sale.

The best solution is to try trial closing once or many times before the actual closing. A positive trial close will indicate when the prospect is ready to buy and will automatically lead to a close.

Closing Techniques
When the mood has been set for a possible deal with an excellent presentation and one or two good trial closes the order should be closed swiftly without wasting any further time and risking staleness in conversation. Without closing techniques a sales person would be shuttling between two zones: almost done deals to dithering by the prospect. There are several closing techniques that sales professionals apply. The most preferred method is the handshake closing. Generally, all successful business deals and discussions finish with a handshake marking the end of the proceedings.

There are also other methods of closing techniques such as: compliment close, calendar close, balance sheet close, economic close, best time close, conditional close etc. All these closing techniques aim at finishing the deal. Concession close is a technique where the sales person offers discounts with statements like, “if you buy today you will get a discount of 10%.” These techniques prod the prospect to shed any hesitation and go ahead with the actual ordering for the product or service. Closing techniques effectively seal deals and allow sales persons to move on to the next prospect.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

Using Testimonial Letters to Increase Sales!

By Doug Dvorak

The proper use of testimonial letters can add credibility for your company and profitability to your bottom line. Many sales organizations fail to use this simple yet cost effective method to reach new markets and clients. The formula to obtain testimonial letters is quite simple. The best time to ask for a testimonial letter is right after the sale has been made. This prevents the dreaded “Buyers Remorse” and reinforces the decision the client has just made to do business with your company.

One way to do this is to ask the client to write you a testimonial letter to include their candid comments about their experience with your product or service and even about their experiences with your sales and customer service representatives. Regardless of how you do it, the letters‟ content can act as a powerful motivator and training tool for your employees. If a letter is returned with positive comments, it can be displayed at the office to highlight the exemplary behavior of that specific employee which should help to drive other employees to model these types of experiences to current and future customers. If the behavior is inappropriate or inconsistent with the image you are looking to portray, this will be an excellent time to address the behavior with the employee and provide corrective behavior coaching. In many cases, without the benefit of this type of feedback, you might not have been aware of this behavioral issue.

Use Your Company Database to Mine for Prospects
For a Personal Testimonial Letter

You can use your current company database to mine for customers‟ contact data, which then can be used to create direct mail pieces as part of a testimonial letter campaign. Database marketing, explains business writer Mark Hendricks, aims “not to make the sale, but to keep the customer.” The underlying technique is to use database records of customers’ latest purchases and frequency and amount of past purchases, to create targeted mailers that let you stay in touch with your customers. But another type of mailer, which is fast and inexpensive to produce, often proves the most powerful of all: personal testimonial letters.

The power of a Personal Testimonial Letter
A personal testimonial letter, as advocated by Jay Levinson, is a one-page letter that recaps what a customer has just purchased and then describes their overall satisfaction with your company‟s products or services the customer has just purchased – or simply provides helpful professional information. It conveys, in short, what your product or service has done for that customer in the way of service, attention and expertise.

If you want to make maximum impact on your testimonial letter campaign with your customer database, take the time to concentrate on customers individually by writing them letters personally tailored to their specific situation. Mention that you’ll phone in a week to follow up on the letters you just mailed or emailed on matters you’ve broached. For extra impact, add a handwritten P.S. recapping your main message. Statistically, if nothing else is remembered, the “PS.” will be! If you follow these tried and tested marketing methods to obtain more and better testimonial letters, you will see a dramatic increase in customer loyalty and profits to your bottom line.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

Don’t Have A Sales Manager – Hire A Sales Training
Consultant To Help Increase Sales!

By Doug Dvorak

Omnipresent Sales Forces
In the increasingly competitive business landscape, sales teams of business establishments have become indispensable features. From start ups to established big multi-national companies – every organization that sells products or services has a sales team. The size of the sales teams may vary from a one man army to battalions of sales people, but a sales department is a must for most companies and firms.

Role of Sales Managers
Usually a sales manager leads the team of sales people. This need not be true in all cases. With sales persons reporting directly to the vice-president or to the owner (in case of small firms) there are no sales managers in many organizations.

However, a sales manager is expected to lead the sales team. He is supposed to be the friend, philosopher, and guide of the sales persons. Typically a sales manager monitors the progress of the individual sales persons and the team as well. Due to various reasons, ranging from personal to professional, performance of the sales team gets affected from time to time. The sales manager sorts out the professional issues and advises as a friend on personal ones. He also acts as a link between the sales staff and senior management.

Sales Training Consultants are not Mere Substitutes, They are Better
In the absence of a sales manager this vital role can be entrusted to sales training consultants. Sales training consultants are seasoned and skilled sales professionals that have sound market knowledge and profound insight in to human behavior as well. Their sales wisdom and information about the latest market trends come with diligent study and years of in field experience.

Sales training consultants are adept at detecting flaws in the sales methodology of a business organization. They are equally skilled in zeroing in on causes of under- performance of the sales staff. They are part marketing experts and part psychologists that are respected for their capability to suggest remedies to increase sales.

From motivating the sales staff to weeding out unproductive sales practices, these gurus of selling are good at the entire gamut of sales related activities. These pros not only perform what sales managers can but they also do much more such as:

  • Sales training consultants can present the much emphasized out-of-the-box thinking.
  • They can develop better rapport with the sales staff by their friendly and easy manners. It has been observed that sales personnel trust sales training consultants and open up about their problems.
  • They can call a spade a spade when it comes to honest analysis as they are not on the pay roll of the hiring firm.
  • So, hire a sales training consultant to boost your sales with the use of tested and proven methods.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

How Hiring A Sales Training Specialist Can Jump Start Your
Bottom Line Profits

By Doug Dvorak

The Natural Salesmen
Selling is an art and there are people naturally gifted with this art. Right from birth these natural salesmen get busy marketing the only product they have – themselves. They clutch a tuft of their mother‟s hair or dad‟s ears and pull their faces towards themselves. They wave their hands, paddle their legs, clap, laugh, giggle, and cry to get attention as well as care.

These smart babies grow up to be successful salesmen in school too. They start profitable businesses as children too, by selling lemonade, old comics, used video games, and other knick knacks thus laying the foundation for a remarkable sales career ahead.

But that doesn‟t mean that those that haven‟t sold old video games for a profit in school cannot become successful sales professionals when they grow up. They can – through training.

What Sales Training Specialists Do
Sales involve techniques that require constant honing. Personal appearance, body language, timing of making calls, words chosen while making a presentation, knowledge about the market and competition, the requirement of the client etc. – there are a host of things a sales person should be well versed in. Even the handshake has to be right when meeting a prospect for the first time.

Sales training specialists can teach the sales team of an organization about the basics of sales to complicated things like improving sales metrics.

Sales training specialists know how the latest effective sales models function. Combining the latest sales training methods with the traditional sales wisdom, they educate your sales team about the successful ways of selling. In a conference room, class room type set up, or even in the field they coach the sales team about the rudiments of progressive sales training tips, tricks and techniques.

Just hand over to the sales training professional a group of people who are eager to learn and change. He will do the rest.

Sales trainers will also identify any existing problem with your sales team and recommend a cost-effective, one-size-fits-one solution. Is someone on your sales team having problems closing? Or is somebody finding it difficult in converting cold calls into appointments? Sales trainers will help correct the flaws and improve the bottom line – profits.

Hard Facts
The USA places increased emphasis on training of the workforce. The American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) estimates that US corporations spent $109.25 billion on employee learning and training in 2007. A study of 11 global high tech companies carried out in April 2007 by ASTD and sponsored by Hewlett Packard, points out that organizations spend nearly 75-80% of their training budget on sales training. The study also confirms that sales training does help in developing robust competency models to help accelerating sales and push profits up.

It makes a lot of business sense to hire a sales training specialist.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

How to Give an Effective Sales Presentation

By Doug Dvorak

Fortunately or unfortunately, people judge products and services by the way a sales rep presents them before a buying audience. People‟s perceptions about the company are formed based on the sales presentations they attend. This is a stage where the personality of the sales person comes in to consideration along with the product. The way the sales person speaks, what they says, how they answers questions, and how they dispels doubts all fall under scrutiny. An effective sales presentation can enhance the reputation of the company, help form a high opinion about the products, and can lead to sales of the products. A sales presentation therefore is an integral part of the sales process and proper preparation and emphasis should be placed on it.

Everybody gets butterflies before a sales presentation. But those with confidence present a better picture than those without it. The ones that speak confidently and explain lucidly make the sales presentation entertaining and effective. Those that are not able to give an effective sales presentation can improve. There are ways by which a sales presentation can be made a winning one.

Ignore the Butterflies
Remember being slightly nervous about a presentation is a natural thing and soon you should forget those feelings as you get immersed in the subject. Besides, people will not notice your nervousness unless you make a scene of it. People are busy thinking about themselves. So move on with confidence. If you are feeling butterflies whirling wildly around your stomach, get them to fly in formation with the same focus you have given to your sales presentation.

Give a Solid Start
Make a good start. As they say about the first impression – if the starting is easy the remaining part of the presentation just rolls. Preferably start with a healthy joke or some comment that will connect you with your audience. That will relax everybody and you will get their attention too.

Add Enthusiasm to Your Voice
Make sure that you sound enthusiastic enough and ensure that it comes across in your voice. If you, the presenter, is not enthusiastic enough nobody else will be. Practice speaking in an enthusiastic tone before a mirror. Make a habit of being enthusiastic whenever you talk. During the presentation it will come without much effort. Remember, enthusiasm sells!

Keep Presentations Short
To sustain the interest of the audience keep your sales presentation short. Lengthy presentations will attract yawns, resistance, and disinterest. Only elaborate the main features, functions and benefits of your product or service and keep your talk concise. If your prospect or audience starts to look at his watch repeatedly you know you are loosing him. The best strategy to employ at this time is to pick-up the pace and/or shorten the presentation and position yourself competitively.

Love Your Job
What does a sales rep giving a confident presentation exude? He exudes unmistakable authenticity. He is more likely to exhibit a “feel good” aura for representing his company and its products. He loves his company, product, his job, and himself. It‟s natural for that love and self-respect to get reflected in his words and his presentation. The energy that springs from a natural love for his job simply gets noticed. And the audience starts believing in his product or service.
The profession of sales is for people that like to meet new people, get to know them and their needs, and establish a professional relationship with them. Also, a sales person must like the company he represents and the product or service he promotes. Otherwise all attempts at making sales presentations better will not appear genuine. No amount of rehearsal can help if you do not love your job genuinely.
As you speak out of conviction the feeling of authenticity gets transmitted and the audience starts to believe what you are saying. This could open the gates to future sales opportunities for which you are ultimately aiming.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

How To Use The Internet And Search Engines To Research
Prospects To Make More Sales!

By Doug Dvorak

The Internet – a Happening Place
The pivotal position that the Internet enjoys today in the world is unquestionable. From every aspect, the Internet is now one of the most happening places. A lot of real things are happening in the virtual world. From a sales and marketing perspective the Internet is now a crucial tool that helps to leverage a marketer‟s position tremendously. People are online not just to chat and meet new people. They check out a wide range of products and services, scan their reviews, read customer experiences, and finally buy the products if it suits them.

People love to buy products they want on the Internet, pay for it online, and save time and energy by doing so. There is no need to travel, shop around with kids in tow, face aggressive sales people, and tolerate the assorted ennui that awaits the entire process at times. There are also people that hawk their wares on the Internet ranging from comic books to cars. Almost everything that a person may require can be bought on the Internet. So we have a nearly infinite number of “doubleyoudoubleyoudoubleyou.product.coms‟ floating in the virtual world ready to cater to every need and fancy of people.

Whether it‟s business to business sales or business to customer sales, no sales person or marketer can be in business without the use of the Internet. Not only is the Internet a buzzing market place it is also poised to move ahead of traditional markets. Advertisers are shifting their focus on to the online world and by the year 2011 it is predicted that online ad spending will surpass traditional media ad spending.

Prospects on the Internet
An effective prospecting program cannot do without the Internet prospecting component. The Internet can help in researching prospects in several ways: providing information on the buyers through survey and study reports available online and through social network forums.

Firstly, let‟s consider the utility of the Internet as a source of abundant information. It can be likened to a humongous library, accessible 24/7, with information on latest market trends, consumer preferences, and business buzz. A sales person or marketer can get instant information about his prospects‟ buying habits and preferences that can help him in prospecting better. For any kind of business the Internet has plenty of information in store that can help a marketer. Various survey reports find their way to the Internet with regularity. The accessibility to such precious reports may either be free or paid but the speed with which a marketer can acquire data on buyers with the help of the Internet is amazing. Websites of prospects also provide solid information about the possibility of the prospect qualifying as a buyer.

Secondly, the proliferations of a multitude of social forums such as: MySpace, Facebook, Flicker, Twitter, and many more has enabled marketers to study the habits of the members and get an idea about their opinions of products and services. Basing the relevance of their product vis-à-vis the demographics of the members of social media, sales people and marketers can narrow down their list of prospects. Additionally, a sales person can hear the “whispers” and the “conversations” of the market in these social forums. This is the place where new prospects can be created and also existing customers can be targeted for up selling.

There are social networks that are formed on exclusive habits, interests, backgrounds, professions, and age groups. Wine connoisseurs have formed www.snooth.com and night club frequenters meet at www.dontstayin.com.Divorced people commiserate among themselves and get strength at www.divorce360.com. International travelers can keep posted about their friends and vice-versa at www.wayn.com(where are you now: wayn). It is possible to have access to these members and refine prospect research.
A sales person or marketer can further study the members within a particular network and narrow down prospecting to even more relevant criteria.

Finding a Leader: Social networks are the place that are appropriate for viral and referral selling. A sales person should include in his prospect list social network members that are persuasive and have more contacts with other members in the network. A researcher should also identify a leader or an influential profile in a network and target him. Every social network has its share of connoisseurs. Their opinions are held with esteem and their words carry weight. If they tread a path others follow almost blindly. These people can turn out to be valuable prospects for a sales person and usually there is no-cost for this information.

Search Engines and Prospecting
Search engines are equally useful for buyers to search for products and for sellers to locate buyers. Just as a buyer enters his search words in search engines like google, yahoo, MSN etc. a sales person can follow the same technique to zero in on prospects.

A person interested in joining a gym in Chicago can locate his choice of gym by looking it up in the search engines. Similarly, a manufacturer of gym equipment accessories can type in the key words “gym” and the area of his choice (say Chicago here) in the search engine tab. Wow – the list of gyms in Chicago would appear on the page. This would give the sales person access to the contact addresses of most gyms that he is interested in selling his gym equipment accessories to. The researcher also can dip in to the information pool of the Gym web sites and learn about their membership policies, installed equipment, years of existence, and facilities information etc.

The search can narrow down to further categories like up market or affordable gyms etc. Such a search may also lead to a directory of all the gyms in Chicago making it convenient for the sales person to identify and study prospects. The search engine would also pop up web forum pages where gym related dialogs and opinions are exchanged by members of various gyms and fitness enthusiasts. That should give a clear picture to the sales person about his target market.

It is obvious that the Internet helps in boosting sales by providing access to a wealth of data and information about prospects. Within minutes, statistics, opinions, as well as background information about the prospects are available at our finger tips – thanks to the Internet. Prudence lies in making good us of it

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

How to Use Time Management to Become a More Successful
Sales Professional!

By Doug Dvorak

For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
…A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes.
Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that the stuff life is made of.
Benjamin Franklin

Time is Life
Each day comes with a package of 24 hours, distributed to all equally. It is up to us to make the most of the 24 hours in each day that are given to all of us. There is so much to do and so little time is the common complaint these days. Within these 24 hours we have to work, sleep, take care of our body and mind, look after our families, pursue our hobbies, and keep our mothers-in-law in good humor. We have to utilize these hours to grow, produce, and progress by managing time properly. Managing the fixed quota 24 hours effectively leads to fulfilling all our responsibilities and enhances our quality of life personally and professionally. When managed properly time yields the highest returns on energy invested.

For sales professionals time is money. They do not get paid in terms of the numbers of hours worked – to “punch a clock”. They are paid to produce results – sales results via sales numbers. So it‟s imperative that sales professionals should manage their time properly and make the most of it. Time management is a critical skill for professional happiness. On it hinges your income, your home, all your dreams, and aspirations. Remember, you can‟t manage time; all you can do is manage yourself with respect to time.

Managing Time
The art of managing time is based on a few simple and proven techniques. Only with practice can it become an ingrained habit that can produce amazing sales results.

  • Get Organized: Getting organized is the first step towards managing time effectively. Highly successful sales people have their calendars chalked out for a year in advance. Create an organizer and schedule your tasks according to your top sales priorities. List the things to do. Minutes make an hour, so enter your plans to do things to the tiniest minute. Three minutes to scan the headlines should mean three minutes and not a minute more. Also prepare a log book of time spent on daily activities. Maintain the log book religiously and enter activities of each day before bed time. Do a weekly review of this to find out where you are spending/wasting your time and apportion that extra time to something worthwhile. Weed out unproductive activities.
  • Visualize your action plan for the full day. Do it after the morning work out or the previous evening
  • Delegate tasks to others to save time. Things that can be done by your assistant, subordinates, family, or others should be handed over to them. Compensate and praise them well and they will feel good about being entrusted with the responsibilities of completing a task as well as earning something extra.
  • Do not procrastinate. It is the biggest time stealer. Finish off things as and when scheduled. If possible “beat deadlines, do not just try to meet them”.
  • Some sales executives take up the easy jobs first and keep the most difficult ones towards the end. Tackle the difficult tasks first. You may require accomplishing one or two easy tasks to warm up. That‟s perfect. But then you should target the difficult jobs. You will be amazed how fast they get done when taken head on. Then you will have plenty of time for easier tasks.
  • Staying clear of negative thoughts and negative people is a huge time saver. Both can sap energy, reduce productivity, and consume a lot of time. Once you slip into the whirlpool of negative thoughts it will take considerable time to snap out of it. It‟s absolutely necessary to entertain only positive and good thoughts. Also it‟s advisable to shun the company of negative people and mingle with positive and optimistic people. Steer clear of negative thoughts and stay positive.
  • Use your down or wait times creatively. As a sales professional, you probably spend a lot of time in your car in traffic getting to your next appointment. Why not take this time to make phone calls to your prospects We all wait at traffic lights, wait to meet managers, wait to get food served, wait for our secretary to finish preparing the report, wait in lines to pay bills etc. Utilize these times creatively to aid in enhancing your sales productivity.
  • The above time saving tips are based more on common sense. There are other time saving and productivity enhancing tips that are backed by solid research as well.
  • Analysis of revenue growth curves of successful sales professionals reveal that it‟s not important how much total time they spend on sales activities rather than how they allot their time. Super sales people from financially high performing companies working for high incentives and stock options allot 40% more time to their best potential customers and spend an additional 3-4 hours on high-value sales activities than their counterparts do in financially low performing companies. A survey conducted by Watson Wyatt of 841 sales people from 500 companies with large sales forces has established this. Sales reps at successful companies dwell more on identifying customer needs and spend more time with the leads that they know.
  • The survey also establishes that high sales performers spend less time on administrative work – 30% less than the low performers. Administrative work should be delegated to administrative staff, the secretary, or should be kept to a minimum. The best sales people do all non-related sales activities between 6-8am and 6-8pm. 8am-5pm is defined as prime selling time to get “belly-to-belly” with a decision-maker.
  • Timing is Everything
    In sales timing is everything – at what time to make a sales call, at what time to make a presentation, when to talk, when to listen, and when to close a sale. It may not require the precision of a Scientist, but nevertheless it requires a proper sense of timing. A super sales person knows that there is an appropriate time to meet the CEO of a company when he or she would be in a relaxed and receptive mood. Also there is an appropriate time to close a sale without allowing it to linger.

There is a time for everything. There is a time to work and a time to rest as there is a time to talk and a time to remain silent. This is the essence of time management. Wise sales people know this and know this well.

About the Author:
Doug Dvorak helps companies and professionals achieve results through customized, creative and non-traditional sales training systems that are “one size fits one” and developed to the unique business needs and “sales pain points” of each client. He is available to speak on these topics.

For more information visit http://www.salescoach.us or call 847-359-6969
Permission is granted to reprint this article in print or on your web site as long as the paragraph above is included and contact information is provided

Copyright 2008 The Sales Coaching Institute, Inc.

Sales Skills Training Strategic Sales Coaching

Chicago, IL 847-359-6969, doug@dougdvorak.com

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