Archive Monthly Archives: April 2010

How to Yield Big Sales with Healthy Margins

Quick review: there are Three Levels of Management within the Student role you play during Step 1 of the Buying Process. The three levels of Management are: CEO, Core Level, and the Support Level. If you can reach and do business with the CEO, you will discuss issues of competitiveness, cost cutting and efficiencies, and you will like be holding better margins. Core Level management is interested in solving problems NOW and maximizing Key Success Factors, those areas which contribute most effectively to the organization’s overall ability to succeed function to function. We also discussed the ways to contact Core Level managers and determine which have influence and which have authority without influence. The overall recommendation was to find influential sponsors who will sell your message to the Core managers in various relevant departments. Now we look at the Support Level of Management, which is the bottom level providing support to the CEO and the Core levels. Support level reacts to the needs of upper management. It includes areas like purchasing, legal, training and accounting. If you are dealing with a purchasing type in Support you will likely find an emphasis on the most machine for the money and consequently margins begin to shrink. This is the price-driven or “Transactional Sale.” Engaging business at this level is a Win-Lose: the purchasing agent is looking for the most machine at the lowest price. He wins. You lose. To find big problems, which yield big sales with healthy margins, you need to be talking to CEO and Core level managers because these larger problems and longer view issues are their natural habitat. This is important for sales management training. How to be a Good Student: Change how you think. Forget your product. Imagine you work for the customer. Imagine you are selling for your customer. Walk two miles in his moccasins. This way you begin to focus on his goals and concerns. If your product helps him expand his business and solves problems, price is no longer the top issue. For example, a copier rep trying to sell a machine to an owner of an ice cream store. At first the reps pitches features and benefits. Customer could care less about copy quality and speed and so forth. Then the rep imagined he was selling ice cream for the man. He started asking questions. In the process he learned that the man sold ice cream to local retail outlets, but he wanted to expand and provide specialty desserts to restaurants. The rep then suggested that the man get the logos of all the restaurants he wanted to work with, and produce customized menus of ice cream products to be sold through each establishment. The man immediately loved the idea, bought the copier at retail and implemented the new marketing plan. The rep had created a solution to enhance the man’s business and that solution required the rep’s product. By imagining that you sell for your customer, you will quickly understand your customer’s business strategies, and then you will be in a position to identify innovative sales opportunities that achieve value for your customer. Use these tips for yourself, or your sales training programs.
Quick review: there are Three Levels of Management within the Student role you play during Step 1 of the Buying Process. The three levels of Management are: CEO, Core Level, and the Support Level. If you can reach and do business with the CEO, you will discuss issues of competitiveness, cost cutting and efficiencies, and you will like be holding better margins.

Core Level management is interested in solving problems NOW and maximizing Key Success Factors, those areas which contribute most effectively to the organization’s overall ability to succeed function to function. We also discussed the ways to contact Core Level managers and determine which have influence and which have authority without influence. The overall recommendation was to find influential sponsors who will sell your message to the Core managers in various relevant departments.

Now we look at the Support Level of Management, which is the bottom level providing support to the CEO and the Core levels.

Support level reacts to the needs of upper management. It includes areas like purchasing, legal, training and accounting. If you are dealing with a purchasing type in Support you will likely find an emphasis on the most machine for the money and consequently margins begin to shrink. This is the price-driven or “Transactional Sale.” Engaging business at this level is a Win-Lose: the purchasing agent is looking for the most machine at the lowest price. He wins. You lose.

To find big problems, which yield big sales with healthy margins, you need to be talking to CEO and Core level managers because these larger problems and longer view issues are their natural habitat. This is important for sales management training.

How to be a Good Student: Change how you think. Forget your product. Imagine you work for the customer. Imagine you are selling for your customer. Walk two miles in his moccasins. This way you begin to focus on his goals and concerns.

If your product helps him expand his business and solves problems, price is no longer the top issue.

For example, a copier rep trying to sell a machine to an owner of an ice cream store. At first the reps pitches features and benefits. Customer could care less about copy quality and speed and so forth.

Then the rep imagined he was selling ice cream for the man. He started asking questions. In the process he learned that the man sold ice cream to local retail outlets, but he wanted to expand and provide specialty desserts to restaurants.

The rep then suggested that the man get the logos of all the restaurants he wanted to work with, and produce customized menus of ice cream products to be sold through each establishment. The man immediately loved the idea, bought the copier at retail and implemented the new marketing plan. The rep had created a solution to enhance the man’s business and that solution required the rep’s product.

By imagining that you sell for your customer, you will quickly understand your customer’s business strategies, and then you will be in a position to identify innovative sales opportunities that achieve value for your customer. Use these tips for yourself, or your sales training programs.

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Sales Words?

Here is a video from You Tube. It talks about the two most important words in Sales. Take a look, judge for yourself.

Does this apply when making major sales?

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Sales Courses and Sales Training Investment and Cost

Sales courses and sales training is necessary in today’s informative and competitive environment. With every investment, there is a cost and a return. An investment in sales courses and sales training for your staff is no different. Sales training without a return on your investment may benefit your staff when they need credentials for a new job, but it won’t benefit your company. Sales courses must be chosen with an eye for return.

Investment in sales courses and sales training for your staff demonstrates that you are committed to the betterment of your company and your staff. However, if you choose sales courses and sales training programs that give little credence to your sales staff’s current knowledge and abilities, your sales training motivations will falter into resentment from your staff. Sales course content that is merely a reiteration of the staff’s current knowledge is wasted investment and will be received with deaf ears. Involving the sales team in the efforts places of sense of ownership of the sales training results, which further motivates the sales team to apply the training they have received to effectuate change. Benchmark your sales before training, and track sales for a year or two after the sales training. Training applied is ROI earned.

If you want to see a return on your investment into sales courses and sales training for your staff, involve your staff in course evaluation and selection, evaluate sales courses on their own merits and compare them to your objectives, consider long-term results of training, follow-up on the training, and consider the company’s financial expense involved with the training investment.

Determine whether individual sales training or group training offers a higher return. If the needs of your sales force members starkly contrast with one another, individual training would be more effective. If consistency is imperative, group training will be more profitable. In each scenario, be sure to evaluate salaries and any decrease in sales for the day. In many cases, an office can run more efficiently when individual training sessions are granted rather than group training sessions. Whether you are investing in sales courses and sales training for individual training sessions or group training sessions, consider the costs of location, travel, gas and lunch reimbursement.

When you choose sales courses and sales training for your team, look for value-added benefits. Sales courses may offer sales training follow-up as a value-added benefit. Many sales courses offer train-the-trainer sessions, saving your company from the expense of repeating the sales courses and sales training for new employees. If you have a fast promotional system or a high turnover, a train-the-trainer program can offer substantial savings and benefit and increase your ROI. Ensure that the sales training courses will train your sales staff with material that can be applied continuously throughout their career with your company.

Sales courses and sales training can offer a high return on your training investment if careful consideration is given to need, objective, input, selection, follow-up and expense Sales training is an avenue for continuous company improvement. Continuous company improvement is imperative in today’s fast moving business climate. Smart investing in sales force training will give your company a competitive advantage and keep your sales in the fast lane.

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A Simple Sales Strategy: Define What Selling Is!

How do you define selling? A lot of people think of selling aspersuading/convincing people to buy things they may or may notwant or need. To some, selling is all about closing a deal.Thinking of selling like this is not very empowering to you.Frankly, if you have this perspective on selling, it’s no wonderif you hate it. I would too!
So what perspective can you take about selling that will make itenjoyable, exciting and something you look forward to? Soundslike a bit of a tall order doesn’t it? Read on.
Hopefully by now, you have made the list of all the problemsthat you can solve for your target market. You’re going to besurprised how long that list grows over time. So really, if youlook at your list and you think about it, you are a masterproblem solver. What you’re really doing is helping people.Correct?
So try on this perspective about what selling is: Selling ishelping people. Selling is serving. Selling is a process ofidentifying and solving people’s problems.
See, feel and know that selling is serving. This will cause abig shift for you. With this perspective, you will really becomepassionate about wanting to help people. Find this passion andlet it shine through.
It is your purpose, your moral obligation, to have as many salesconversations with people as you can so you can help as manypeople as possible. If you’re not having these types of salesconversations, you are holding back the gift you have to offerthe world. You owe it to people to be there for them with yourexpertise and wisdom.
Next time you’re talking to a potential client, think about howyou can help them, how you can serve them. Forget about tryingto sell them something. If what you have to offer does solvetheir problems, and you facilitate the conversation using thestrategies we are covering, people will sell themselves and willsubsequently buy from you.
If you have a perspective on selling which is one of service andhelping people, how do you think the people you’re talking towill feel? Think about this: people hate to be sold. The minutethey feel they’re being sold, they often want to get away -fast. Don’t you? On the other hand, if they feel you aresincerely trying to help them solve their problems, they willrelax and open up to you.
If you have a perspective on selling which is one of service andhelping people, how do you think you will feel? Does energized,excited, relaxed, and natural come to mind?
This perspective is simple but powerful and very attract-tive toclients.
(c) 2005, Tessa Stowe, Sales Conversation. You are welcome to”reprint” this article online as long as it remains complete andunaltered (including the “about the author” info at the end) andall links are made live

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Selling Vehicles

Here is a video with some wise words about selling vehicles. The only point I want to make about this video is one needs to understand there is a skill to making major sales. Selling a vehicle is a major sale.
Selling the polish to make the car look good is a simple sale. The skills required are totally different.
Unfortunately most sales people do not understand this. Nearly all books written about selling do not separate these skills. Notwithstanding this, good pointers are in this video for newbie sales people wishing to enter the car selling business.

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How to Sell Anything, to Anybody, Anywhere at Any Price

How to sell anything, to anybody, anywhere at any price was the title of a talk given to me to deliver at the National Achievers conference in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore in 2001 in front of over 5,000 participants in each city.

Although I was fortunate to share the stage with inspiring speakers like Robert Kiyosaki, I was the only speaker on sales.

How to sell is one thing, but to how to sell anything, to anybody anywhere at any price is another. At least that is what I thought when the title was first given to me. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized this topic, “ABC, 123 Sales Results System” covered all the bases.

Let’s first build a solid foundation for how to sell. How to sell starts with Attitude – a desire to want to sell, with a belief in yourself, that you can sell. How to sell requires you to believe in your organization, it value proposition, it’s products and services and the supporting team players.

When you believe, others will too. However, If you do not believe in yourself, your organization, it’s products and services, the supporting team players, or the market, nor will the prospect. How to sell is based first on beliefs.

Your beliefs is your foundation to how to sell successfully or not. Your beliefs determine your attitude. It is our attitude that determines how you feel. How we feel determines the actions you take. The actions you take determine your results.

When it comes to how to sell, your beliefs lead the way. Your beliefs are under your control and only you can change them. As an adult you should be able to distinguish between what is real and what is not in your beliefs and clean them up. You need to get your beliefs up to a 10 if you want to succeed in life, not only in sales.

The next step in how to sell is to ensure you demonstrate appropriate results oriented Behaviors. Behaviors are your daily habits. First do you have personal goals? If so, great as they are your guiding motivators when it comes to how to sell.

If not, how can you ever achieve goals for others, if you first cannot achieve them for yourself. You cannot give something to somebody else if you do not have it to give away in the first place.

When it comes to how to sell, our personal goals keep us focused, disciplined and motivated. Our corporate goals also keep us employed, focused, disciplines and motivated when it comes to how to sell.

However, when it comes how to sell to the market place, our behavior for results has to be targeted. Targeted to markets and prospects that will give us the quickest market positioning, reputation and results, in the shortest time frame.

In others words, how to sell requires you to do some homework and consider your return on time invested (R.O.T.I.). How, when and where can you maximize your R.O.T.I.?

How to sell requires the right foundation as we have learned in Attitude and Behavior. How to sell also requires that you follow a sales results system, or sales process. This is referred to having the appropriate Competencies when you are face to face with a client.

The Competencies that we are referring to here when it comes to how to sell are communication skills. The art of asking in depth questions and listening, while taking notes is fundamental when it comes to how to sell.

With competent communication skills we can build rapport, develop trust and start a relationship. The first competency step in how to sell. How to sell requires that you also qualify the prospect. With trust you can proceed to set parameters, uncover buying motivators, financial ability, and decision making processes, qualifying the prospect.

It is at the summary stage that you will know if you can help them with a solution or not. If not, let them know you cannot. If you can, proceed to prescribe them a solution. How to sell up until this point is all about building trust qualifying the prospect. That is the job of a real sales professional.

Now take note that you are asking all the questions up until this point putting you in control of the sales process. That is how to sell. How to sell is not about telling – it is not about you, your company, products, services or solutions.

How to sell professionally is about engaging the prospect into buying- it is all about them, their needs, their budget and their decision.

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Knowledge centered selling..What it is and why is it important?

Too often we believe that customers are strictly price driven, but have we considered that they may not know what other factors to consider when making buying decisions on the products and services you sell? Do you strictly talk about your physical product/service, or do you create a visual of the IMPACT your product or service will have on their business today, 3 months from today and a year down the road? The truth is if you create an ongoing stream of business productivity knowledge for your customers and prospects, you will significantly increase sales, differentiate yourself from the competition, and create long-term loyal customers.

I have been hired to conduct sales training for a variety of industries, and here I’d like to share an example of what I’m talking about in regards to “Knowledge Centered Selling”.  I had been asked to hold sales training sessions for a group of “copier” salesmen. We first tackled the best way to pick up more business from current clients, so I asked the question, “What are you really selling?” “The answer is NOT copies.”

What they are selling is increased productivity gains, leading to a more efficient and profitable business. Our goal was to make sure the client understood this. After a new copier was placed, the dealer sent a follow up letter explaining the finer tips of maintenance. A few weeks later a fax was sent with details on efficient methods of keeping files organized. A month later a CD was mailed on how to run an office by check list, with templates included.  We sent information on how to go paperless overnight. Every 20 days some form of Knowledge Centered Selling on running a better business was sent to the customer. Most of the knowledge had very little to do with the copier, BUT, the company increased sales to existing customers by 56% over the next 12 months.

The salesmen realized that if their customers believe they are buying a “box”, they are going to try to buy that “box” as cheap as possible.  On the other hand, if their customers perceive they are buying huge productivity gains, while gaining a valued business advisor, the next sale is a slam dunk and the relationship cemented.

Having completed our current client campaign, we moved on to the Knowledge Centered Selling concept for prospective customers. I explained that when a competitor is entrenched in a good account, there are two options available for getting the account to come your way.  The most common is to cut prices to a point where profit margins are very slim. This is pretty short sighted for long term business health. Instead, I recommended the second method.  Develop a series of informative letters similar to the ones going out to current buyers.  I told them to limit the sales points about their equipment to one out of every three or four contacts.  By teaching the prospect how to solve the office productivity problems in their company, the copier salesmen set themselves up as the “go to people” to solve office problems. They soon learned that even when a prospect did not buy, they received a much warmer reception and the prospect was a lot more forthcoming during the sales process. At the end of 12 months, the company experienced an increase in client base of 34%, not to mention the increased commissions paid out to the salesmen.

You may be asking, “But KC how can I create a pertinent information flow, when this is not my thing?” Creating the ongoing information flow can be accomplished two ways.  First you can start clipping magazine articles, internet postings and excerpts from books that you personally found valuable. Have a staff member use these as guidelines for putting together helpful hints and tips. The second method is to call upon someone who has developed a complete Knowledge Centered Selling program in your industry and license the use of their program in your market. If you wish to create audio CDs (one of my favorite methods for touching customers) you can simply record productive ideas onto CD.  Be sure to use a professional recording studio and put the knowledge in story format.

In summary, the more informed my customers are about my products and the impact they can produce in productivity gains, lifestyle, etc., the more likely they are to buy the real features they want and need.  The more knowledgeable your prospect or client, the more they will buy from you.

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Sales Manager Training: the Critical Advantage

Being a salesperson is one thing; managing a team of several sales professionals is entirely another. Sales management brings more people in perspective along with a completely different set of goals. Thus, sales manager training is a wholly separate tract in business management education. Be that as it may, sales manager training is something which cannot be overlooked for it is the pivotal point at where business proficiency and management acumen must be fully demonstrated by the person in charge — that is, the sales manager.

Among all departments in a business, it is perhaps the sales department that has the highest turnover rate not just among the basic sales staff but also among sales managers. It is also the department that has the quickest rate of promotions and expansion. The sales manager position is therefore the most dynamic post in the business hierarchy and requires the most attention in terms of learning solutions and continuing education.

Hence, sales manager training is at a critical position. A good and sufficient training can provide an advantage for the company; however a training that is less than ideal may prove inadequate in helping sales managers excel in their businesses.

Focus on Managerial Skills

Most sales managers go up the ranks from being sales agents, to holding supervisory positions, until they get the managerial job either when the previous manager have gone further up the hierarchy, have left the company or when the business unit expands. Sales manager training should already be enacted at the supervisor level or even earlier among key sales personnel.

The primary learning requirement for upcoming sales managers involve augmenting their knowledge and skills to effectively perform their managerial duties. Most rookie managers have not been in a leadership position before. And the tools and know-how expected of seasoned managers are still all new to them. These include, planning skills, organizational skills, ability to motivate their respective teams, what to do during difficult situations — all these and more go into the content of sales manager training to allow new managers to adjust accordingly to their new duties.

Through sales manager training, the trainer brings together the novice manager’s new found skills and knowledge with his or her achievements and proficiency as sales professional. This brings about profound potentials that tend to improve performance of the manager and the sales team.

Discovering Strengths and Weaknesses

One additional benefit of training up sales managers is the opportunity to discover the strengths and weaknesses of the firm’s sales managerial talent pool. This allows higher management to adjust accordingly either at the individual level or as a team. A sales manager with a weakness on a certain area may be given additional training to help the manager improve. Otherwise, at the team level, certain adjustments can be made to let managers and teams complement each other’s respective strengths and weaknesses.

The importance of sales manager training cannot be watered down. A company that provides continuing sales manager training is sure to reap its benefits of a high-performance sales force.

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How Sell Cars Easily and Maximize Profits?

The hardest thing to do in the nosedived economic conditions is to sell a car. People around the globe believe that, in the worst economic conditions, the sales of the new cars will decrease while the used car sale increases and hence they will be able to sell used cars easily and profitably. The above said statement is true except the fact that you won’t be able to sell used cars profitably in the down turned economic conditions. You will have to wait really long to sell your car profitably. While you may be worried on “how to sell my car” quickly and maximize profits, the easiest means of selling cars often remain un-explored. Just keep reading on the article to discover the valuable tips on “How to sell my car quickly for more profits”.

The Car Buying Services are the best options

I am considering the Car Buying services as the best option to sell my car. I prefer this method to sell my car as there are many benefits associated with this method. For example, I won’t be able to make a profitable car sale within 20 minutes in using the conventional methods of selling. I am very sure that no one in this planet will be able to sell a car instantly with atleast marginal profits unless they approach a car buying service provider. With the help of the car buying services, I will be able to sell my car profitably within 20 minutes and get the payment instantly. Since all the paper works and the document preparation will be done by the car buying service providers, we don’t have to worry about anything.

Though there are countless numbers of car buying service providers around the Globe, not all of them are genuine. Moreover, you will not be able to make huge profits out of used car sales in dealing with rookie car buying service providers. You should find the car buying service prodders who are in the field for many years. The best feature of these car buying services is that you can get a quote for the used car for sale instantly. You will be able to get an instant quote regardless the model, make or mileage. To the added advantage, you can negotiate the price and get a revised quote if you are not satisfied with the initial one.

Bottom line

The car buying service providers are not only for selling cars but also to buy cars at cheaper prices. For example, if I want to sell my car and quickly buy a new car, I will be able to buy my car within an hour with the help of car buying websites. As there will be a huge collection of used cars available with the car buying service provides, choosing the used car of your choice is very easy.

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The Market Place is Changing

Salespeople get this into your brain! The marketplace is changing, unless you learn the skills of selling and understand the differences between making major sales and simple sales you could end up without a job.
Here is a great video from Neil Rackham, author of Spin Selling. If you don’t own a copy go and buy one. There is no other sales book ever written that comes close.

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