Click here for mentoring and coaching.Welcome to Sales Tip

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The Unprepared Salesperson
The Prepared Buyer and Seller
The Uncooperative Buyer

Coach John Agno believes we must develop our salesmanship and leadership ability to achieve the success we seek. Agno's job is to coach people to greater self-awareness, purpose, personal strengths and a sense of well-being that often translates into greater compensation, job satisfaction and practical use of skills and abilities. Developing commitment in a world of employees, peers, free agents and volunteer talent is not an easy assignment and requires the development of your leadership skills; the effective leadership ability that you didn't learn in school or executive education.

All the brains and connections in the world won't matter unless you also have the bullheaded determination and sales ability it takes to get things done. Your resilience and sales skills are especially crucial for small businesses.

Can You Sell?

Robert Louis Stevenson said, "Everyone lives by selling something." Yet, most people don't understand the sales process and their part within it. Business owners constantly worry about the selling function and how it affects their ability to manage the firm's cash flow.

"It's sad that something as important to the economy as sales shows up as a footnote in the principles of marketing course at most graduate business schools," says Andy Zoltners, a professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.

"Many people view selling as tactical and haven't taken the broader view that you will need sales skills even if you aren't managing a sales force," says David Godes, an associate professor at Harvard. "If you're going into consulting or banking, how do you get clients and how do you raise money?"

"Even if the students choose not to go into selling, they need multifunctional expertise to get into general management," says Doug Raftery, Procter & Gamble's vice president of consumer business development. "They will also gain a better sense of how to sell their ideas inside their own company."

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Self-coaching helps you develop your personal skills, clarify your values and guiding principles and build your reputation. Self-knowledge provides the personal integrity to engage in productive and authentic relationships.

Why do Salespeople Fail?

1. They think they can get away with "winging it." This expression comes from the theater; where it alludes to an actor studying his part in the wings (the areas to either side of the stage) because he has been suddenly called on to replace another. First recorded in 1885, it eventually was extended to other kinds of improvisation based on unpreparedness.

Being prepared for the customer interaction is important. Knowing what action you want the prospect to take based upon this sales interaction allows the sales person to focus. Having a strategy of what to ask, what to show and tell helps to move the prospect to taking the desired action. Anticipating obstacles to the sale will allow you to plan how to go around or over potential "roadblocks" in accomplishing your sales objective.

2. They don't understand the impact of their personality on specific buying styles. This shows up in not really listening to the prospective customer and, instead, filling the sales interaction with sales talk. They don't answer questions well because they don't listen for the assumptions/beliefs that's behind the prospect's words. Their presentations are not in line with what the prospect wants to know. Being out-of-touch with the prospective customer's personality style insures that the inability to communicate will sour the sale.

According to an article on sales management in Business Performance Management, December 2008, only 41% of companies surveyed were confident that their organization manages its sales operations and performance effectively. Two of the most common impediments to successful management of the sales team are inconsistent execution (47 percent of respondents) and an overall lack of sales processes (38 percent). Processes in areas of sales such as revenue forecasting, incentive calculation and territory management are imperative to achieving corporate revenue objectives; it's alarming that so many companies lack some of these basic procedures.

To improve your sales people's ability to sell well, train and coach them on a proven sales methodology that allows them to prepare for every major sales interaction. Provide them an understanding of their personality's strengths and weaknesses and how they can "read" their prospect's buying style. Usually a sales person's weakness, in the buyer's perspective, is an over extension of a strength and can be toned down through self management by the

Gain Favorable Attention

People distrust salespeople. They have built-in detectors to tune out sales pitches. And once the sales pitch detector goes off, information flow stops.

When you hope to gain the favorable attention of another person, consider stating your intention upfront. The more direct you are in stating your intention, the more likely you will be able to experience an authentic conversation where each party shares what's important to them.

To 'sell' your idea, product or service, you must pass the ACID test:

A. Gain favorable Attention,

C. Inspire Confidence,

I. Build Interest to where

D. Desire surfaces.

When 'desire' surfaces, the other person takes the lead in the conversation while you begin to provide the evidence necessary to justify the transaction.

For more on how to make good presentations, click here

The Success Formula

The formula for both personal and corporate success = your human capital (what you know and can do) times your social capital (who you know and who knows you) times your reputation (who trusts you).

Click for information on Coach John Agno.

Coach John Agno says, "You can take away all my money and even my customer list, but if I can keep my smarts, my business relationships and reputation, I'll get it all back and then some. Having knowledge, social capital and trust is the ultimate security blanket in good times and bad."

"Today's economic climate is an excellent time to reach new prospective customers and build better relationships with your present customers. But building your company's social capital is not about sitting alone in front of your computer trying to come up with a winning marketing formula on your own. No one I know who is successful in creating a marketing presence does it that way."

"Successful people may have started out going it alone, but as soon as they possibly could, they began to leverage their own and other people's ideas, experiences and relationships. They put into play a proven sales strategy, methodology and training focused on targeted accounts. Email me to learn about our exclusive Sales by Objectives (SBO) methodology for training and coaching your sales people to success."

How much do you know? Click to test your sales ability.

Seeing ourselves clearly does many things:

• It allows us to control impulses and select the most appropriate behaviors.

• It shows us how to avoid reacting in negative and potentially self-limiting ways.

• Knowing our strengths and limitations makes us more understanding of others.

• Gaining an understanding of issues reduces conflict in ourselves and in others.

Throughout life we continuously learn about our personal style and preferences, leadership development, interpersonal communication, stress management and coping skills. Becoming more self aware gives us great leverage in consciously exhibiting the type of behavior that gets us where we want to be.

How good is your reputation?

The ancient Greeks taught that all conversation involved three ingredients: Ethos, or the character of the speaker; Pathos, connecting with the emotions; and Logos. The logos discussed by the Greeks refers to the factual content of a message, the words used.

To hear your message, people first need to positively connect with you emotionally before they are ready, willing and able to listen to what you have to say.

When we trust a person or organization, we assume that the benefits of our relationship with them will outweigh any costs to us. The willingness to ascribe good intentions to and have confidence in the words and actions of other people affects the way in which we behave toward others.

The importance of perception in the development of trust and mistrust cannot be overstated because our perceptions often turn into self-fulfilling prophecies. When we trust someone, we are more likely to overlook, forget or not recognize an actual breach when it occurs.

Since our decision to trust or mistrust is both a rational decision and an emotional reaction (one not only thinks trust, but feels trust), trust-building is critical to your personal effectiveness.

For self-help books click on: be conscious of your default behavior , love , success , A.D.D. , self-coaching , leadership , what should I do with my life and the meaning of life


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