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Custom Growth Solutions, LLC | Sandler Training | Oklahoma City, OK
 

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Professional Development

Traditional sales is all about "What's in it for me?" A different mindset that can be hugely beneficial is, "If you want to get more, you must first give more." A client of mine that's a contractor got a phone call...

A while back, I was able to work with a company that has been a Sandler client in some shape or form for more than 25 years. They have offices in a few different states in the US, and they had me out for a day-long session on Transactional Analysis and some other things.

A big part of traditional selling is presenting, typically without getting any real information first. Not only do salespeople do it when selling, but they do it when applying for jobs as well!

One of my clients had been reviewing his prospecting activities with me and looking at new potential activities. He decided to explore different opportunities, including more speaking engagements.

Have you ever felt like you're being left behind because you're unwilling to try or learn new things? Or perhaps you had a great month in sales and you've met your quota, so you take a salesperson's vacation and just sort of coast for the next three days until the end of the month. Are you comfortable where you are and therefore don't challenge yourself to do better?

A friend of mine was in the Coast Guard for many years. At one point in time, he had the opportunity to tour a Navy ship. From what my friend shared at that time, it seemed like the Navy had nicer ships overall than the Coast Guard did. Now, I've never been on either a Coast Guard ship or a Navy ship, so I can't tell you personally if this is true. But that's the impression I got from what my friend shared.

I recently spoke with a professional who had been working with another Sandler trainer in a different state for almost ten years.

Prospecting is all about connecting well with other people. Really, all of sales is, and arguably a lot of life is about it, too.

I was visiting recently with someone who's been involved with Sandler in a different city for several years—he had been in President's Club for five years. We had an interesting conversation about where his focus was and it ended up challenging me!

 

I'm fortunate that Sandler is a worldwide organization, so from time to time I get to talk to people that have been involved in Sandler for a long time, but are not clients of mine. In fact, many of them have been involved in Sandler longer than I've been a part of Sandler!

One thing that David Sandler always taught was how powerful it was when you combine guts and humor. An experience a client of mine had a while back demonstrates that. A client of mine had been calling on a potential referral partner...

Sometimes, prospects you're working with will feel uncomfortable. Maybe a question you asked made them feel that way. Perhaps it was someone else involved in the conversation. Or it might just be the situation itself. Of course, different people feel uncomfortable in different situations. But the more you can do to make them feel comfortable, the better! A client of mine...

If you don't ask questions and uncover information, you're missing sales opportunities. A friend of mine saw this first-hand years ago when he was looking for a condo. My friend and his wife were looking for a condo in a ski resort town in Colorado. They began working with a real estate agent who was supposedly one of the highest producers in the area. The guy spent several weekends driving my friend and his wife around, showing them condos.

It's probably very common for someone to tell you, "Hey, you should give this guy a call. He really needs your help." And if you're not careful, you can waste a lot of time and energy in situations like that! Let's look at how you can best deal with referrals and avoid wasting time and energy.

If you're really honest with yourself, you probably don't always take ownership like you should. You probably have an opportunity to improve there. We all occasionally get caught up in the things we can't control, and don't spend the time and energy looking at the things we can control.

In every sales interaction, you should get a yes, get a no, or get a clear next step. But regardless of which of those happen, you need to learn a lesson. Can you think of a time where you made the same mistake over and over again before you learned your lesson? Or maybe you still haven't learned that lesson yet.

How many commercials, advertisements, and even salespeople have you heard share how great their product or services are? Often times, it's way over the top! If you're not careful, you end up sounding just like everyone else.

If you're interacting with someone who has experience in your industry, it can be a landmine! Maybe they have a relative that works in the industry, or maybe they used to work in the industry themselves. Regardless, if you're not careful, you can end up blowing yourself up.

If you're like most people in sales, there have been times that you didn't make a sale, and didn't know why. Other times, you may have been brave enough to ask why someone didn't buy. But the truly dedicated find that out during the sales process, even if it's a really unusual reason. As a salesperson...

Everyone brings two things to any interaction: Behavior and Expectations. It's your job to observe the behavior and uncover their expectations. A client of mine shared an interesting story with me a while back about his 17 month old that really demonstrated this.

I'm fortunate to get feedback all the time from people that I work with. A while back, I received an email from a client we work with that blew me away. Since he started working with us, he had quadrupled his income, so I was curious what he had to say.

In Sandler, we have the concept of pattern interrupts. Pattern interrupts are doing something unexpected to stand apart from your competition. A lot of times it's something simple. If someone asks, Why should I do business with you? you might answer, I don't know that you should. Sometimes it can take on other forms as well, like it did a while back with one of my clients.

You may be losing sales if there is any point in your sales funnel that's a challenge for your prospects or clients. How can you make it easier for people to do business with you? Sadly, most businesses do not make it easy to do business with them. And if it's a challenge for people to buy from you, then they won't!

Perhaps you've experienced this. You're booked up so far in advance, that you end up losing sales opportunities. Some of those can't be avoided, but in some cases they can. Recently, I had a client come to me with a problem.

One of the greatest things you can do as a salesperson is to disqualify prospects. Because if are unable to disqualify them, then by default you've qualified them. I've been through dozens of huge sales programs where that was never taught! Until, of course, I got involved in Sandler. It reminds me of one of my jobs before I got into sales.

It's fairly common knowledge that you should know what a good prospect for your organization looks like. But do you know what a bad prospect looks like?

How often have you set a goal, but never did anything to reach that goal? Or maybe you had a great new idea to drum up sales, but never did it. Or helped put together a strategic plan that you never did anything with? You need to block out time!

Have you ever gone to a meeting, come out of it, and said to yourself, "Well, that was a waste of time"? And do you think others have done that when they've met with you? Whose fault do you think that is? If you're being really honest with yourself, it's your fault!

In sports they teach to be on friendly terms with your competition. We call that good sportsmanship. But in business, many go into it with a dog-eat-dog attitude. From their standpoint, there's only so much business to go around. In other words, they have a scarcity attitude. Others do business with an abundance mentality. They know there's plenty of business for everyone, and treat others accordingly. They tend to stay on friendly terms with their competition, and sometimes that can lead to business.

Often, others ask me to help them pre-brief before a sales call, and debrief after a sales call. When I was recently asked to do so, I discovered a huge waste of time, energy, money, and resources. Fortunately, I also knew how to avoid that waste.

In Sandler, we have a concept we call equal business stature. When you're talking with a prospect, you really have to believe and get them to believe that your stature, from a business level, is equal to theirs.

Here's one situation where we can see that play out.

One of my clients helps his clients with their online marketing. He recently shared with me a story about how a blogger greatly affected a prospect of his. Let's look at that story and the three valuable lessons it can teach us.

When someone tells you repeatedly that they're fine, and don't need your services, then changes their tune, do you jump at the opportunity? If so, you're setting yourself up for failure. It's not uncommon...

Getting involved in organizations can be hugely beneficial. Whether it's a nonprofit, an association, or a local chamber. But you've got to be more than just a member! Let's look at a couple ways that might benefit you.

Have you ever been taped giving some sort of a presentation, then listened to your audio later? Or, even worse, watched yourself on video later? Was it what you wanted to see? For many of us, the answer is no! Our response is, "That's not what I'm like!" Did you know the same thing happens on sales calls?

There's a characteristic that very few people track about their prospects, that really every salesperson should be tracking. If you're not tracking it, you aren't alone. But if you start, it can make a huge difference in understanding past interactions, making the most of future interactions, and ultimately your sales.

Have you ever met with someone and then felt like you just didn't click? It may have been a sales situation, a management situation, or even a personal relationship. Whatever the case, you just didn't feel like you connected? Or maybe the opposite has happened to you. So what's the key to that emotional engagement?

Dress can play a huge role in sales and customer service. If you're not dressed right, it can make or break whatever piece of business you're working on. So how do you make sure how you dress contributes to what you're doing, rather than detracting from it?

People who enjoy socializing can fall into a trap. They can spend time on the golf course with their buddies, or maybe chatting at networking events. When they come home and their spouse asks what they did all day, they reply, "I was working." But if that's you, is that really was you were doing?

In my years in business, I kept seeing a common denominator in people I considered successful. I ran into it again and again. Yet for some reason I fought it and resisted doing it myself for a long time. What is it?

In Sandler, we have the concept of pay time versus no-pay time. It can be very powerful in managing the activities you have to perform and make better use of your time. Of course, the awareness really comes into play when you modify your behavior to fit the reality of your situation. So what is pay time versus no-pay time?

Too often, we lose the opportunity to make a sale because we become emotionally involved in a sale. While it's important that we show emotions, actually getting emotionally involved can have many negative consequences. We've all done it at some point or another. So how can that impact us, and how can we avoid it?

How you view money is something we at Sandler refer to as your money concept. When looking at your own weaknesses in sales, it's a key issue to be aware of. Your money concept can really screw you up!

It's very common to get used to the way things work in your world. For example, in your world, you may do a lot of free consulting. But this can hurt you, sometimes in a very immediate and drastic way.

The old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. The parallel in the sales world is that you can show a prospect the solution for their problem, but you can't make them take it. Instead, you've got to do something much more powerful.

When clients and customers come to you for your help, you're probably the expert. Like a skilled doctor, you can look at their symptoms, find out what the underlying problem is, and prescribe the best solution.

How many of you would like to double your sales? If you are like most people you answered a quick yes to this question - let's look at the 3 ways we can do that?

We often get asked by clients (or prospective clients) how do you help our people get ready to be more successful in sales, business development, or client relations. Although it may sound like this could be a huge mystery - it is not quite that elusive. It can be broken down like this; to live your life as a champion salesperson, you have to go through the same training process as other top professionals whether they are athletes or astronauts, fire fighters or fighter pilots. Training conditions you to act and react in certain ways. This conditioning becomes a way of life based on rules, principles, and systems developed to ensure your success.

If only I would have asked … (fill in the blank)...? This is one of the most costly questions professionals have. It is also an extremely common thought that sales professionals, managers, leaders, and business owners share. How often have you left a meeting and thought to yourself I wish I would have asked………... or wish I would have said………....? If you are like most people these thoughts cross your mind on a regular basis. We find that many people know what they should ask or say – they just do not do it, or they are not comfortable doing it. This is a frequent issue that holds most people back – it keeps them from achieving the goals they have and the growth they seek. The big question is why does this happen? You might be surprised to know...

 

Our view on money is shaped by what we learned growing up. Whether we’re open about money, or learned not to discuss it with anyone, it’s become so ingrained as a part of us that it’s difficult to get past any issues that might cause.

Let’s take a look at three concepts you can use to change how you think about money when working with prospects and clients.

 

What’s the best way to change your sales results? Change your sales habits. Of course, that’s easier said than done. Whether you’re trying to make more cold calls, work networking events better or even make use of your personal network of contacts, the key is changing your habits.

Changing your sales habits, and therefore your sales results, is a five step process. To make it easy to remember the five steps, we’ll use the acronym AKASH.