All posts tagged Salespeople

Just a Word!


Do you recognize the word above? And when did you first hear it?

If you said the 1964 Disney musical film, Mary Poppins, you probably would have alot of company. 'Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' appeared in the film's song with the same title as sung by the movie's stars, Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke.

But ask yourself if, when you first read the word at the top of this post, whether you weren't a little intimidated by the unusual length of the word itself and maybe by the fact that you haven't seen or heard the word for quite awhile and so may not have remembered it's meaning right away.

Salespeople can be intimidated in the sales process by words as well. In fact, in my experience, the word that has the biggest impact on salespeople is literally at the opposite end of the spectrum as far as the number of letters is concerned. Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious has 34 letters. The word that intimidates salespeople the most has only two. The word is…


That's right, 'no'. No other word has as much of an impact on a salesperson's self-image, performance and results. Ineffective salespeople interpret 'no' as failure, as rejection and as a reason to bail out of the sales call, either a face to face meeting or on the telephone. High-performing salespeoplef hear 'no' as just another word and respond in a manner appropriate to the sales situation. In fact, to a high-performing salesperson, a 'no' can even be a success…especially if it comes early in the sales process from a prospect who doesn't qualify for what they offer.

If you're a sales leader, ask yourself how your salespeople respond to 'no' from their prospects. Do they hear it as 'failure' or just another word?

If you're a salesperson, ask yourself the same question.

By the way, in case you were wondering (or can't remember) the everyday definition of 'supercalifragilisticexpialidocious' is "something to say when you have nothing to say". I hope I've exceeded that definition with this post.


“The Mission is Ordnance on Target”

The focus of this post is "focus".

The focus of the Navy Frigate Captain's observation (above) is simple, clear, concise and easy to understand. No mystification. The ship is designed and equipped for one purpose. The crew is trained to accomplish one purpose. the captain's decisions and commands are performed for one purpose–ordnance on target.

Now let's compare the Navy's approach to its mission to how salespeople deal with the sales process–

Do salespeople approach their sales calls with a 'mission'?

Is that mission as tightly defined as 'ordnance on target'?

Are their strategies designed to accomplish the mission?

Are they trained to execute those strategies effectively?

Do they perform the strategies with one purpose–to achieve the mission?


Do most salespeople wing it?

Do they not do any pre-call planning to determine what outcome they want to get?

Do they not do 'what if…?' scenario planning to take into account any anticipated eventualities in their sales meetings so they don't get caught by surprise and thrown off track?

Do they not receive any sales training to improve their selling skills?

Is their decision making performed to achieve a tactical outcome rather than a strategic one?

One group of salespeople is high performing.

One group of salespeople is underachieving.

Do you recognize focus, ordnance on target, when you see it?




Top Ten Ways to Be an Advisor in the Sales Process

Too many salespeople these days are just that–salespeople. In the way they look, act and behave, they don't stand out from their peers. And they definitely don't stand out in the minds of their prospects and customers. Result? They get commoditized, shopped, talked down to and ignored. Here's a list of necessary attributes to move from 'salesperson' to 'advisor'.

1. Advisors don't fear a 'No' – They know when sales opportunities are a good fit or not. They prefer to lose early, save selling costs and go and engage with prospects with whom they have a higher percentage of getting the business.

2. Advisors know how to push back – If all salespeople do is show up and accept at face value everything prospects tell them about what they want or how they view the world, they are a facilitator in their prospect's eyes. Advisors know how to effectively challenge what they hear and see and in the process, build respect and value in the minds of their customers.

3. Advisors use 'business language' rather than 'sales language' – They discuss market share, ROI, share of wallet, cost reduction, etc. with their customers. Prospects want to buy from business people, not salespeople.

4. Advisors see themselves as change agents – They are experts in quickly determining if the customer's current reality calls for change and whether the customer can effectively and efficiently execute that change.

5. Advisors recover quickly from rejection – All people involved in the sales process get rejected. For some, it's a day killer, maybe a week killer. For a very few, it's a month killer. High achievers take a lesson from a lost sale and promptly move on to the next opportunity in their pipeline.

6. Advisors control the sales process – They use a formal, structured sales process designed to achieve consistent, predictable results while providing them with feedback relative to where they are in the process and what they must do to succeed.

7. Advisors have clear and specific personal goals…in writing – They know where they are going, what they must do to get there and how they will measure progress. Period.

8. Advisors build relationships quickly – They perceive, gather and interpret all the information that prospects give out–body language, behavioral style, neuro-linguistic programming (NLP), birth order, educational background, industry expertise, organizational title–and use that knowledge to make other people feel comfortable and safe with them…in a very short period of time.

9. Advisors are great listeners – There is a Native American proverb, "Listen or your tongue will make you deaf". Enough said.

10. Advisors are life long learners – Whether its reading industry trade journals, books on selling or human psychology or listening to self-inprovement audio CD's, high achievers are constantly adding to their knowledge, looking for strategies and tools that will give them that decisive edge over the competition that gains them the sale.


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