Archive Monthly Archives: August 2008

Review Coming Soon

Traveling has hindered my blog posts of late; however I have just received a new book on selling called “Top Grading for Sales” by Brad Smart and Greg Alexander. I will be most pleased to publish a full review on what promises to be a very interesting read in the next few weeks.

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Becoming a Real Estate Agent

Becoming a Real Estate Agent could be a daunting task in the current economy. Becoming a Real Estate Agent involves hours of training.

Becoming a Real Estate Agent requires sales Training on how to make major sales.

Unfortunately  almost all of the training for “Becoming a Real Estate Agent” does not include sales training. The majority of companies teach their new employees how to fill in documents, how to handle all of the legal jargon etc. However the real skill in a falling economy is for Real Estate Companies to start employing sales people. I have read lately that many Real Estate companies have closed down in many countries and there has been a sensational transition of employees leaving for a better life!

If you are looking at becoming a real estate agent I suggest you grab the book by Neil Rackham about making major sales as there is no comparison when compared to traditional sales training.

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Michael Phelps Can Swim

Michael PhelpsMichael Phelps can swim but can he sell? Well no doubt with all the glory Michael has received at the Olympics over the last few days he may not need to.

However it brings me to a point:

I saw Michael Phelps being interviewed on television and he made a very valid comment. Winning does not come without hard work. Michael Phelps has had to work really hard to achieve all these gold medals. Up at 5am and off to the pool. Goodness knows how many hours a day he practiced.

If you are employed in the field of making major sales then you need to practice your sales skills. In fact you need to put far more energy into sales training than meets the eye.

You may not have to get up like Michael Phelps early each morning but if you do not understand the difference between making a major sale and making a simple sale you need to take stock of yourself. Funnily enough most sales people do not know there actually is a difference. I suggest you follow these tips:

Practice makes perfect and if you are selling big stuff you must apply yourself.

Get hold of all the books on the subject you can.

Read all the books by Neil Rackham and learn the skills of selling just like Micheal Phelps has learned the skills of swimming that has had him reach the very top.

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Duties Manager

What is the responsibility of the Duties Manager, the Sales Manager and the Regional Sales Manager?

The Duties Manager, Sales Manager and Regional Sales Manager of any SALES organization must understand the skills of selling.

I just wonder how many interviews take place for Duty Managers etc where this issue is ever mentioned. For some reason almost all organizations choose their Regional Sales Managers, Sales Managers etc strictly  for their product knowledge.

Obviously it is important to have an understanding of the product or services you sell but from my own experience at Xerox Corporation the new salesman with little product knowledge was usually more successful than many salespeople who had been with the company for years.

One reason could be the fact of not confusing the customer and focusing entirely on the skills of selling. Most of the sales managers, regional managers and duty managers at Xerox understood well the difference between making major sales and making simple sales.

It is still a mystery to me why most sales training material available today still pushes the old fashion methods, covering objection handling. When they do not show the very distinct difference between making major sales and making simple sales.

It is the responsibility of the Duty Manager, Regional Sales Manager and the Sales Manager to clearly understand these differences and pass them on to their sales staff.

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Tips for Initial Questions

These tips will help on how to make certain you get it right from the start.

When you first visit a customer or prospect you are probably bursting with enthusiasm and just cannot wait to start talking about your product.
What can go wrong?

Well it is very simple really, if you start talking about your product (like most sales people do) it is quite possible your client may just say they are not interested.

This means you may walk away not only without an order but also without understanding a thing about the persons business.

This issue is one of the biggest problems many sales people have. It is absolutely vital you find out who your customer is? Where they come from? Where are they are going?
Who is the decision maker? Are you speaking with the right person? How many branches do they have? How many people do they employ? What do those people do?
What motivates them?

All of these questions are ONLY questions about the customer’s situation. They are not questions about any other issues. These questions must be asked for two reasons.
To give you a clear and concise understanding about your prospects business and how it works.
To give you a solid base and platform to ask questions that may possibly uncover potential problems, which in turn will give you a further platform to ask more questions to find out what those problems mean and what solutions may be available for solving them.

Without the correct answers you may miss the opportunity for any business at all, and even if you do by some sheer chance secure some business there may be other orders left sitting on the table.
Get it right from the start when making major sales.
If you are a professional salesperson ask your regional sales manager if he or she understands the difference between making simple sales and making major sales.

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How persuasive are you? – Ask Annie

Now some of you will say, “what about Solution Selling, S.P.I.N selling !!” Yeah, same old, same old dressed up in fashionable words! Kurt Mortensen, Dr.Kevin Hogan, Dave Lakhani, Dr Eric Knowles & Gary May is where the future of selling …

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Struggling Retailers Can’t Just Blame Downturn

Here is a paragraph or three I saw in the London paper City A.M.

<The threat of recession is an excellent excuse for retailers to blame someone else for their poor performance. Things are certainly getting tougher out there, but retailers whose sales are falling faster than average are losing market share. Simple as that.

Monthly retail sales are are widly volitile, but look at it this way-in the second quarter, UK sales were still 2.2 per cent higher than the previous year.

Marks and Spencer became the poster child for the struggling retailers with lasts months profit warning and a 5.3 per cent drop in UK same store sales for the quarter.

Sir Stuart Rose CEO of Marks and Spencer shrugged off the declines as a symptom of the fact that Marks and Spencer is a “smoke detector” for the rest of the sector.>

Well my take on all this is “I wonder what these people are smoking”?

I am certain the majority of CEO, Regional Sales Manager, Sales Managers etc world wide just do not understand there is a difference between making simple sales and making major sales.

If these people bothered to invest a few dollars in the fantastic books written by Neil Rackham they would soon understand that the lowest price is not the issue here. It simply is correct Sales Training and knowing the serious differences between making a simple sale and making major sales.

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A Cautionary Tale for Today’s times – Are we really getting better?

A Personal Perspective

Companies around the world devote huge resources and spend vast sums of money trying to recruit and develop leaders at all levels. There is lots of talk about exciting concepts such as “transformational leadership” “emotional intelligence” and the “servant leader”.

Some even advise us that in today’s organization we are all leaders now. So there is great excitement and energy around the whole leadership field. Regional Managers and Sales Managers are supposed to be leaders. We talk of leaders as people who inspire, motivate and stretch mindsets to achieve impossible goals.

They create compelling visions and vibrant places to work. But set against the current socio-economic, business environment I ask whether our current leaders are actually making the grade? I am constantly traveling the world and in the field of “making major sales” I feel things are the same in every country. Most Regional Managers and Sales Managers along with most company leaders are just not aware there is a difference between making a simple sale and making major sales.

What does leadership mean in today’s world?

How well served are we by today’s corporate and political
leaders?

Does the rhetoric of leadership match the current reality?

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Slowing World Economy

Are you a salesperson employed Making Major Sales? If so you will no doubt be reading all the negative press about slowing world economy. Do you feel you require help with your sales skills to try and overcome some of the doom and gloom?

If so there are many great books on the subject. In my opinion the very best is by author Neil Rackham and it is called “Making Major Sales”. The detail in this book is unrivaled and you will soon learn that objection handling is a skill you will not have to worry about anymore! Yes, a brave statement but true. Also you will quickly find there is no such thing as a trial close! Neil has tipped the sales training world on it’s ear as he has proven beyond doubt there is a huge difference between making a simple sale and making a major sale. Regional Sales Managers, Sales Managers, Real Estate Agents and above all company CEO in general do not even know this material exists.

The role of a Regional Sales Manager, Sales Manager is to manage and motivate sales staff. Those people involved in “selling big stuff” or “Major Sales” as we put it can vastly improve their skills by reading this incredible book. You can get a brief insight to my take on the process by signing in as a professional salesperson here on the blog.

When the economy takes a turn for the worst and the media can’t leave it alone it is time for the tough to get going. Do something today about improving your skills on making big sales.

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