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Chartwell Seventeen Advisory Group Inc. | New York, NY


Ask questions. Listen to the answer. Ask another question. Listen for the answer. Ask another question, etc. The Rule of 3 states that you must ask at least 3 questions before you will find the real problem. Frequently your prospect will start to ask you questions that are a camouflaged indicator of their emotional attachment to the intellectual need. The only way to break through that facade is to answer their question with a question.

This may be a painful exercise but try it. Draw a line across a sheet of paper. Start by noting the year of your birth at the far left of the line. That’s easy.

Closing the sale is only the beginning of the relationship. Work as hard to keep the relationship as you did to establish the relationship. If your client fires you, it is generally because you are inattentive to them.

Everyone in the successful business world agrees that continuous training, mentoring and/or coaching is key for continued growth.

Are you finding that your sales calls are filled with gamesmanship? Are you and your prospect or clients continuously jockeying for position during a sales call? Do you find neither of you always have a clear and concise understanding of what happens next? Read more about our clear steps in how to execute a prospect sales call with the UFC Strategy.

If you seriously believe that your prospects and customers are always telling you the truth – this column may not be something you should be reading.

Traditional selling systems tend to push the envelope. Maybe that’s why the perception of salespeople, and the hard sell, has left the sales profession with labels like “aggressive”, “greedy” and “sleazy”.

They talk in torrents. They spew enough verbiage to soak the most resilient listener. They conduct a drop-by-drop word torture that swamps and then drowns their audience.

No mutual mystification. Any communication you have with your prospect must have a clear understanding about what happens next.

This column is really geared towards business owners, corporate executives and sales managers.

So you’re a Sales Manager. Talk about a tough job! How many hats do you have to wear on a day-to-day basis?

Trade shows are to salespeople what Christmas is to retailers. All year long you look forward to a brief period when you have the potential to sell a great deal of merchandise.

When a prospect or a suspect (unqualified prospect) asks you for free information, do you provide it? If your answer is "yes" you may be an unpaid consultant.

Ever wonder why some people excel and others seem incapable of doing anything right? You probably know people who hit home runs no matter what they do. We call them “naturals.” They’re just plain good.

Did you ever feel that there was an iceberg between you and your prospect? Where do you meet your existing prospect or your potential buyer?

The pressure is on. We hear negative talk about the economy at the “water cooler”, on the TV and radio, daily news, etc.

You have probably encountered prospects who were in “pain” at the end of your first appointment but they gave you all the reasons why they didn’t want or couldn’t use your product, service or expertise.

Top sales people require the same type of on-going training that all professionals endure. The athlete, physician or lawyer at the top pays a price every day to stay there.

Okay, picture this. You’re standing in a crowd in a situation that is outside of your normal business environment (networking event, social event, the zoo, etc.). You spot the ultimate decision-maker of the Client Company that you have been “chasing” for the last 18 months.

If you seriously believe that your prospects and customers are always telling you the truth – this column may not be something you should be reading.

Disclaimer: Don’t read this article if you’re a Wimp, it will offend you. Now that’s a rather harsh way to start this column isn’t it? Actually I’m really a nice guy on the inside. I can be warm and fuzzy when it is appropriate, but sometimes I just need to get your attention.

Just when you think you have it all down to a science, you call on your prospect or existing customer and BAM! You get tossed around like a kite in a hurricane.

Suddenly you have lost your client to a competitor. Before it happens - watch for the warning signs that your customer may be fading away.

A good client and friend inspired me to write about what many of us take for granted. The difference between a good salesperson and an excellent salesperson is often just a "thin line".

Sandler partners with The Extended DISC group and uses DISC profiles to help you understand yourself, but more importantly help you understand why the people you deal with on a day-to-day behave the way they do.

Sales Success is Spelled B-A-T. If you are the sales equivalent to Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig or Joe DiMaggio - consistently hitting home runs - then read no further.

Did anyone ever tell you when you had a seemingly insurmountable problem - "It's all in your head"? Frequently that comment is delivered with a very sarcastic tone so it is not taken too seriously.

This part of the B.A.T. success strategy really is the one category that leads the rest, but A.B.T. doesn't spell anything or stand for anything I could think of using.

Are you accelerating through this economy or is your company just a few percentage points ahead of inflation? If you could wave a magic wand and recreate your sales and business development team, what would it look like?

Are your sales improving or are they flat? You measure that by observing your increase (or decrease as it were) in sales as compared to last years numbers.

Unfortunately a negative attitude is also contagious. Did you ever visit a company overrun with sourpusses? Some people walk around with a scowl on their face, never saying “Hello” or “How are you?” to people passing them in the hall.

If you go fishing, will you catch fish? (Same kind of rhetorical question.) The answer to both of these questions is the same - "It depends how you fish".

We compared in Part I how networking was like fishing; that takes strategy and skill. Just attending networking events hoping to get business leads isn’t successful. You need to have a plan and then work it.

When you really want (or possibly need) the business, it’s easy to drop into the “convincing” mode. You begin to sound like the big mouthed obnoxious, pushy stereotypical salesperson.

Keeping in touch with past clients should be one part of your prospecting plan. The sales environment is dynamic. Things change--all the time...

If you're not sure of the answer to this question - Make sure no one catches you reading this. Especially the boss.

When a prospect or a suspect (unqualified prospect) ask you for free information, do you provide it? If your answer is "yes" you may be an unpaid consultant...

If you’re a sales person, you might be asking yourself, “Self, (that’s what I call myself) should I invest several thousand dollars in additional training?” Do I want to invest that much in me? Am I worth it?

Are you what some people call a “natural” for a sales career? That’s because their personality and yours match...

We started this series asking if you really understood the people that you sell to (or try to sell to) on a day-to-day basis...

The beginning segment of this 3 part series explained the importance of psychologically understanding the people that you work with and sell to...

What makes “excellent” salespeople excellent? What differentiates them from “average” salespeople? Is it attitude? Is it skill? Could it simply be luck? ...

Is there any magic to getting customers to WANT to come back to you and buy again? You bet there is! Is it easy to do? No...

In Part Two, I’ll provide you with some strategies to help your business acquire and keep loyal customers...

When you think about some of the most influential and successful leaders throughout history – I doubt you will find many who didn’t receive some form of coaching.

So you have probably said to yourself time and time again, “This year I’m going to make some changes!” ...

Here are the final 2 steps in turning those ‘intentions to change’ in to a real strategies with tangible results...

If you have a plan written down that you review on a regular basis, that sets the course for where and what you want to be in...

Would personal coaching be good for you? Answer: Only if you would care to move your personal success up to the next level.

Part II is a continuation from Part I of the eight-step strategy of the Up-Front Contract (UFC) of a sales call. Communication is key and using these steps will ensure to lead towards a smooth, honest and meaningful sales call. Please see the previous post for a more in-depth look at the first four steps.

For some people, decision-making is a painful process – for others it’s a “no-brainer”. For some, all decisions are tough decisions – for others there are few tough ones.

Two Part series about creating a process of making decisions more bearable in management and executive roles. In part one we discussed three decision-making tools to augment the process you use to make the decisions you can comfortably live with. In part two two more theories add to the repertoire.

We’ve been focusing on management hiring the right people for the last couple weeks. Now it’s appropriate that we take a look at how sales people can be efficient at finding the right sales position. Here’s a unique interviewing technique 180 degrees opposite the traditional approach to “selling” a prospective employer on hiring you.

In Part 1 of 2 we reviewed 4 necessary steps to take “before the interview” and the first 5 steps to take “during the interview”. Here in Part 2 of 2 we will conclude the steps (6 – 11) “during the interview” and the important steps to take “after the interview”.

How often have you listened as someone rationalized his or her mishandling of a problem by externalizing its source: "I can't meet my quota because...," "My territory’s too small," or "Our prices are too high"?

Willie Loman, the protagonist in Death of a Salesman, needed only a calendar, an order book, and a phone to conduct business. He conducted business in the simplest way possible. The film Glengarry Glenross portrayed salespeople as liars and lazy. Chris Farley’s Tommy Boy was a comic fool and Herb Tarlik of WKRP in Cincinnati will forever portray salespeople as weak and sleazy. Is it any wonder prospects have a negative perception of sales people?

Have you ever heard of a concept called "Image Gap?" Everybody has some degree of image gap. Image gap is simply the gap between where you think you are and where you really are.

Professional selling is a high rejection occupation. Where else can you go to work with the assurance that you’ll be turned down fifteen times daily? Who else (other than lawyers) are the brunt of jokes and questionable ethics? Successful salespeople know that these things come with the territory. The key is not to take them personally and realize that “if it doesn't kill us, it will make us stronger.’ So in light of the upcoming holiday, here is a list of thank you items that I’ve come across over the years.

Have you ever tried one of those tricky “closing techniques” that are supposed to transform hesitant prospects into instant customers?

Topics include: An Honest Conversation - Not A Presentation, Prospect's Defense, Don't Be Traditional and Remove The Pressure