Archive for the 'Sales Training' Category

Want To Light A Fire Under Your Sales Team?

We recently wrote in Minnesota Business about how to increase sales without increasing your sales staff.  We mentioned that, when it comes to selling, many of us have operated under the old rule of thumb that it takes three contacts to get on our prospect’s radar screen, and at least seven before he or she is ready to consider us as an option.  We have all heard stories that up to 90 percent of leads are never even followed up on and that most sales people, under the pressure of delivering results NOW, don’t ever reach the third contact let alone the seventh where all the action is supposed to happen.
 
Today, in a world of challenging economic conditions and complex sales cycles, the new rule of thumb is more like 10-12 contacts to be recognized, and 16-18 to be invited to the party.  At the same time the pressure for immediate results has not gone away.  In many cases, the direction from sales managers is simply to work harder and make more calls, which is not a long-term solution to the challenge facing us.
 
Clearly we cannot continue to operate the way we have in the past and expect, or hope, for better results.  And the answer is not in adding staff to recognize the additional number of contacts required to make a sale – – let alone continue to support and expand the relationship with a new customer so they won’t bolt at the first hint of a better deal.  So what is the answer?

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Posted by Barbara Hoganson  February 26th, 2009

On Becoming A Top Performer

We were asked to contribute to an article that appeared in the Minneapolis StarTribune on ‘Tips For Becoming A Top Performer.’  I thought you might find the information we provided — gained from working with our clients — interesting:

The difference between top producers and average performers is often less than what most people think

I am sure that you have you heard this many times as it relates to professional athletes and others.  But the truth is, the ability to perform daily at a consistently high level is what separates the high achievers from the “ordinary” category.  And the key to that is having the personal commitment and discipline backed by process and tools that allow you to do a number of little things just a little better than your competition each and every day.

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Posted by John Harden  February 24th, 2009

Thoughts For A Successful Year!

One recurring theme we hear when interviewing decision makers on behalf of our clients is their desire for trusted resources – partners – who can help them be better than they could be alone.  Challenging times offer unique opportunities to step up to the plate and cement a bond by coming through for them in a time of need.  It presents an opportunity to get back in touch with key customers, and prospects on your target list that just didn’t get called as you had hoped.

This is also a great time to revisit whether or not you still feel that your value proposition is current and meaningful.  Does it clearly state the tangible results a customer gets from doing business with you?  Or said another, less tactful, way – does it answer the question of why they should do business with you?  What you wrote one, two or more years ago may not resonate today.  If not, it may just be because you have grown.  In that case, congratulations and now get out a pen and paper and start jotting ideas.  Short, clear, and crisp.  Something that could fit on a t-shirt.  Something you can embrace and have fun with.  Something that inspires and gives purpose and direction.
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Posted by John Harden  February 22nd, 2009