Tag Archives for " assumptions "

A post from Linked in

This is an interesting take from Martin Schmalenbach, I found it on the Linked In social website and thought I would share it with you.In these tough economic times we are all hearing “the price is too high” much more frequently – customers are trying to manage falling
revenues and even faster falling profit levels by squeezing suppliers
for lower costs. So they tend to see the problem in terms of costs being too high. If
you are selling to other businesses, you could be dealing with a
purchasing officer, who tends to be measured on getting prices down…We have had some success in re-framing the problem the customer has –
from cost problem to revenue problem, and have shown some customers
how to improve revenue by re-framing THEIR value proposition to THEIR
customers… In some cases this has resulted in our customer accepting
prices stay as they are, and not cut… In a few cases they ended up
buying a MORE EXPENSIVE part from us that enabled them to achieve
lower costs elsewhere AND penetrate new markets/keep their own prices
constant instead of cut…We showed these customers that there was value in doing business with
us that is not inherent in WHAT we sell – much of what we sell is
available from plenty of other competitors…

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Quote of the Day

The most profound and significant quote of the day:

“The greatest problem with communication is the Illusion it has been accomplished.”

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More from Dale Carnegie

If you are in a big sales team and sometimes get a little flack from your fellow salespeople then take heart at what Dale Carnegie had to say:

1. Remember that unjust criticism is often a disguised compliment.

2. Do the very best you can.

3. Analyse your own mistakes and criticise yourself.

4. Ask others for constructive criticism.

If you are making major sales in your own business or in a sales team the best thing to do is be your very best. If your company does not provide any form of sales training (most do product only training) make sure you do it yourself. Read all the books by Neil Rackham and practice what he preaches. Making major sales is a completely different skill from making simple sales and the more training you do the more skills you will aquire. That means in the end the more money you will make. Once you become a true professional salesperson the world is your oyster.

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Dale Carnegie

My life changed way back in 1972 when my good friend Andrew Smith (APT) sent me on a Dale Carnegie course.

The course was over fourteen weeks one night per week and by half way through I changed my vocation and knew all I wanted to do was sell and work entirely for myself.

I have never forgotten the lessons learned on that course and this one is the most important.

If you want to get on in life you must get people to like you and here are the six ways:

1. Become genuinely interested in other people.

2. Smile

3. Remember that a person’s name is the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

4. Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.

5. Talk in terms of the other persons interest.

6. Make the other person feel important and do it sincerely.

ALL of this is vitally important if you are making major sales. If you are involved in sales training or sales management you must impress these important aspects onto your sales staff or participants.

How many sales people do you know who really have these skills? It is not rocket science, and all of these skills are worth mastering.

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Popular Smartphones

Do you use a “popular smartphone”?

I guess most salespeople do, however PLEASE do not let it ruin your chances of making major sales. There is a serious problem out there and it is very disturbing.

I was in Melbourne Australia a while back and I was having breakfast at a popular cafe at 7.30 am. Next to me at a big table was a sales team enjoying a breakfast meeting. There were around ten people including a sales manager leading the group.

He was trying to get started with what appeared to be a structured and well planned program. During this time his cellphone rang three times and in each case he answered it. This distracted the remaining group and after that third call a female salesperson got up and angrily made this point. “If that cellphone is not switched off now I am leaving this meeting”.

Naturally the sales manager was upset as the whole restaurant overheard, however is this not a valid argument?

What on earth would have happened before smartphones? Would these calls have taken place? I do not think so and it baffles me why a sales manager would turn his phone on at anytime when running a motivational meeting for staff.

In my opinion it degrades those staff and takes the whole focus off the meeting. The same thing applies and is equally important when in front of a customer. Real Estate sales people generally make a habit of it and it surely sends the message to the customer about who is the most important.

My tip of the day is to just think about the importance of this post.

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The Way Buying has Changed

Here is an old article from the Sydney Morning Herald back in 2006.

The Title was Brave New World by Owen Thomson

Date: 29/07/2006

This is so true and is a solid reminder today.


The way we buy has changed and the role of the sales professional has evolved as a result, writes Owen Thomson.

Money-making opportunities abound in the world of sales, so it’s hard to imagine a shortage of eager professionals looking to capitalise. But according to experts, that very scenario is one of the challenges facing Australian businesses.


The number of sales positions has increased markedly in the past year, aligning with the growth in the economy generally.


James Fennessy, managing director of sales performance improvement organisation Huthwaite Asia Pacific, says there are often more sales positions than there are quality people to fill them. The biggest issue facing organisations, he says, is not only finding, but also retaining top sales staff. “Competitors are coming in trying to throw them an extra 10 or 15 grand a year to attract them away,”


Fennessy says. “We’re seeing that right across the board, whether it’s in health care, financial services, IT or the telecom sector. Job prospects are absolutely excellent.”

Lenga agrees that the skills shortage at the top end is a real issue; expert salesmanship is a vocation, he says, demanding several key attributes. “It’s a particular skill-set that’s required, involving a lot of relationship building and a lot of comfort around numbers; the ability to make cold calls; the ability to sell as well as the confidence to sell.”


As if talent shortages weren’t enough, Fennessy says all industries are also having to take a different approach to selling. In an overcrowded market, products lose their individuality, so winning over customers is not as easy as it once was.

“What’s happened over the last five or six years is that products and services have begun to look more similar, so the importance of a quality sales force has become more important,” he says. “One of the big challenges in the sales game is now creating competitive distinct value.” Because the nature of the sales role has also evolved enormously in the past five years, many sales reps who were successful in the old world are ill-equipped for the new one. “Five or six years ago, all sales guys needed to be was a talking brochure because their products had something unique about them,” Fennessy says. “Today, salespeople need to create value through their ability to help customers understand problems, issues and challenges that they don’t know they have. Customers are looking for a different kind of relationship. What they’re saying is, ‘Don’t sell me a product, be a business partner.’ “

Peter McKeon, managing director of sales training and solution development company Salesmasters International, says it’s not only salespeople who need to move with the times. “I think that many organisations lack the necessary accountability and discipline in their sales forces,” he says. “It’s, ‘Here’s your car and mobile phone, go out and sell.’ Most are under-trained and simply not maximising their opportunities. We need to get a lot more customer-centric: ‘Here’s me and my car, dropping into do a PR call’, as opposed to a true sales call.” McKeon believes many who are already in the sales field need to improve their game. “The vast majority of people in the sales fraternity in this country, if you were to rate them on a scale of one to 10 … I would suggest that the majority of them would be running at around a four or a five,” he says.

“I think people could do a lot more with their customer base than what they’re currently doing.”



Chris Lambeth has been a pharmaceutical sales rep for drug company Aspen Pharmacare for 12 months. A former vet, the 30-year-old Sydneysider switched careers after realising his original choice wasn’t for him.

“It was a brand new challenge, completely different to anything I’d done before and so I just ran with it,” he says of the change in direction. These days Lambeth spends a lot of time on the road, visiting medical professionals in his prescribed

territory and keeping them up to date about what his company has to offer.

“I do part of the inner-west, extending down south a little bit and also part of the city,” he says. “I take care of all the GPs and hospitals in that area. We also have a country territory where we go for a week or two a couple of times a year.”

Lambeth’s favourite aspect of the job is the independence. “You’re in charge of your territory,” he says. “From Monday to Friday, you plan your week, how you

structure things and how you make appointments. You have quite a bit of control over the way you do things … while at the same time, you’re constantly seeing people and meeting new people as well.”

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Pro Sales People Make Money

It was not by mistake that Xerox Corporation in the USA appointed an ex sales person as their CEO.

Anne Mulcahy has turned round the fortunes of the one time copier giant that has been the training ground for many super sales people and entrepreneurs.

If any sales person has any doubt about the ability to make a fortune from this exciting career just think again. Anne was paid thirteen million US dollars last year in salary and bonus for the effort she put in to this sensational position in the company.

Her great attributes that head her priority is never forgeting a persons name and continuously being in front of customers to access the company performance.

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Making Assumptions When Selling

Most good sales people know we should always assume a sale has been made when speaking with our customers. However we can make the wrong assumptions sometimes and I sure had my eyes opened on my recent trip to Jordan.

I went there with very little understanding of the country or its people. My lack of research together with articles I had read and heard in the media had me assuming certain things.

In every single case I was 100 percent wrong and if a sales presentation depended on this knowledge it would have been a total disaster.

Look at this comparison between the country of Jordan with a population of six million people and a company we all know about “GOOGLE”. Who would have assumed otherwise? I bet we all would.

Employees of Google receive free meals whenever they please and according to a Silicon Valley insider the following calculation estimates the Companies food budget.

Google employs around 9600 employees in its American offices; it is open for 251 days of the year. Sources from within Google put the daily cost per employee to be $20. The product of these three figures amounts to $48,192,000 for the American offices alone.

That amounts to an annual average of $5020 per employee and that is only for the food they eat at work.

According to a department of statistics survey taken out in Jordan on household expenditure the average Jordanian food expenditure for an entire family is $3828.

The average Jordanian family has 5.7 members. That amounts to an average of $672 per Jordanian, therefore feeding the average Googler costs 7.5 times as much as the average Jordanian.

The moral of this story is if you have a sales presentation anywhere make sure you have all your facts and NEVER assume anything other than the sales has been made.

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