Archive Monthly Archives: July 2008

Regional Sales Manager

Are you are Regional Sales Manager? or do you aspire to becoming a Regional Sales Manager?

If so do you understand how to motivate and control a sales force? Do you know how to train your sales force? How much sales training experience have you had? these are all questions requiring a real honest answer not only by your company or prospective employer but also by yourself.

I am constantly being asked questions like “how do I get my salespeople to make more calls?” How do I show my salespeople how to “overcome objections?”.

Well the fact of the matter is many companies employ “Regional Sales Managers” who usually have a great understanding of the company products or services, but very little knowledge of “how to make sales”.

There seems to be very few organizations or businesses who really understand the difference between making simple sales and making major sales.

Very few salespeople, sales managers or Regional Sales Managers understand that overcoming objections is not an issue if the correct questions are put to a prospect or customer at the beginning. Just like my previous post and the cartoon. Most salespeople show their product or solution far to early in the sales cycle and just talk too much.

In the near future I hope to publish some material specifically aimed at the Regional Sales Manager, or Sales Manager of companies involved in making major sales.

If you are in one of these positions within a company or are in line for promotion I suggest you subscribe to my blog now by just filling in your name and email in the box provided. You not only will receive my free ebook but you will be on the list to receive free updates and worthwhile sales tips to make certain you can become the worlds best Regional Sales Manager or Sales Manager with the very best sales force at the envy of any great sales organization involved in making major sales.

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Stop Talking

talk talk

This has to be the single biggest problem any sales person has. Stop Talking! Most of the sales training I have seen lately seems to focus on “overcoming objections”, “how to handle difficult customers” and “How to close sales”.

The reality is most sales people yap, and they yap too much. Just think for one moment, if you ask the right questions you will not get objections. Now wouldn’t that be good?

What “No Objections”? If you think that is impossible in sales well think again. Most sales are lost simple because the salesperson is too tied up with their product or service and just do not think about what their customer needs and requirements are. The cartoon above says it all.

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Sales Calls and the Telephone

What seems to be the problem with sales people and the telephone?

One of the most common phrases uttered by sales people is: “I will call you back” some even say “I will call you back in one hour” or “I will call you back later today”. If sales people say this why don’t they do it?

There seems to be a real lack of purpose in these statements. It is extremely common among real estate sales people and even more common with Bank employees.

For some obscure reason service industry such as banks, opticians, builders, plumbers, electricians etc do not understand they are actually in the sales business. They have products and or services to offer yet make these weak statements to prospective and existing customers all the time.

A professional sales person always will call back when they say they will. Professional sales people know very well there are NO excuses to break a commitment with any customer. If a problem arises a professional sales person will always find a way to handle the situation rather than let the customer down.

We all know how frustrating it is when people do not call back and some of us even stay in waiting for that promised call. If you are involved in “making major sales” make certain you call the customer back when you say you will otherwise you fall into the realms of mediocrity.

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Apple Iphone 3G

Is selling an Iphone 3g classified as making a major sale? Somehow I don’t think so as there is nothing short of a frenzy in the market place. Apple have done a stunning marketing job and somehow have made it near impossible to own a 3g phone without entering into a contract for a set term.

Vodafone in New Zealand have a total monopoly on the Apple 3G Iphone and I believe the O2 network have it in the UK. Speaking from my own experience with Vodafone it appears they have a policy of no employment for sales people. I have a contract with Vodafone New Zealand and have been traveling constantly overseas for many years. Currently I am using a normal phone purchased in New Zealand and find I cannot send text from Europe. I can receive text and make and receive phone calls but cannot send text. I have tried to contact a real live person at Vodafone in New Zealand now for over a month.

I have send numerous emails to the company and have never had the courtesy of a reply.

Well, I am a customer am I not? The fact I am paying them an annual fee for a service I am not receiving, breaks all the rules of selling.

Vodafone obviously do not make major sales, they rely totally on frenzy, advertising and public demnand to make sales. If you are a salesperson or a business striving for excellence how would you deal with a customer such as me with the above problem?

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Buying In

Here is an excellent description of why we need “buy in” it is from the book written in 2004 by Mark Walton “Generating Buy-In: Mastering the Language of Leadership”. This is particularly true if you are in Sales Training or making major sales.

However well-positioned, intelligent, or accomplished we are, to succeed in this twenty-first century, we all need somebody’s buy-in.

The President of the United States appears before Congress to generate support for a war on terrorism. A CEO goes to Wall Street to rebuild confidence in his company. You present your proposal to the board. A division VP launches a new product. A regional sales director seeks to motivate her team. You have dinner with a major client, a reporter, or speak to an industry group.

Other people’s buy-in—their understanding, commitment, and action in support of our goals—has always been enormously important. But in today’s world, it has become the most valuable asset of all. And the ability to influence people’s thoughts and feelings, to generate their buy-in, has emerged as the paramount leadership skill.

Why? In the twenty-first-century workplace and marketplace, the dynamics of power, authority, and credibility have radically changed. No matter who you are or where you work, people no longer need to follow your lead, buy what you sell, or accept what you say. What’s more, they’re increasingly unlikely to do so, with each passing day.

The workplace has become a “free agent nation,” its citizens an all-volunteer force. Command-and-control management and unquestioned loyalty are ideas whose time has come and gone. In the new organizational world, “there’s nothing you can force people to do,” says Dow Chemical chairman Bill Stavropoulos. “Now, people have to believe, and they have to believe in you.”

Today’s marketplace is a free-for-all, moving in Internet time. Companies, competitors, and offerings glom together in an undifferentiated blur. Investors, customers, and clients click, scan, blink, and decide. Never have they had more options, or fewer clear incentives, to send their business your way.

In the twenty-first century, to refresh Abraham Lincoln’s observation at the beginning of this Introduction, buy-in is everything. With it, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed. Not ideas, organizations, products, or services. Not you or me.

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Good Business or Bad Business?

Continuing on from my previous post about Ray Woolf, here is an example of how we can get all this wrong.

Only two nights ago I visited a restaurant close to where I am living, here there was no English spoken.

The restaurant was nearly empty but it looked good. The menu was inviting and I ordered my main course; an attractive piece of meat including back sliced potatoes and mushrooms.

The dish arrived at the table without the potatoes and mushrooms and I assumed they would be served on a separate plate. As the meat was getting cold I queried the waiter on the whereabouts of the vegetables.

After a very long discussion in pigeon English and sign language I eventually discovered there were no back sliced potatoes or mushrooms. This was despite the fact of being on the menu.

I am still not certain for the reason, whether they ran out of stock or there had not been delivery that day still remains a mystery.

The bad news is I will not return to that particular restaurant despite the close proximity to home.

The fact it was empty may have been a signal of a problem in the first place and I was taken in by the nice décor, table cloths and an attractive menu.

There is absolutely nothing new about this story as it happens to us all the time, however if you are making major sales or in fact are involved in any form of selling including the restaurant trade take heed.

A good restaurant is making a major sale, they need repeat business to survive and word of mouth is their best form of advertising. A restaurateur is normally not a trained salesperson but they surely must be the very best they can be.

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