• Your Invitation to see how you rank!

    Want to see how you stack up against the best?

    Tha Aberdeen Group have conduceted research into sales professionals and in 5 questions time you could see if you are the best in class!

    [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZkhWPhZ68Ms&w=560&h=345]

    If you are interested in taking the test follow this link here: Aberdeen Assement.

    Blog Editor

    Blog Editor

    Lisette Howlett edits the Sandler UK blog. If you have any questions or would like to submit a blog please contact her. Tel: 020 7484 5556 Email: Lisette.howlett@sandler.com

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  • My favourite….

    One of our trainers recently asked their Presidents’ Club what was their favourite technique or principle. Obviously the Sandler trainer had to have his. Out of all the hundreds of rules, the systems, the books, CDs, online talks, videos, documents and courses, one thing stood out as a summary of them all.

    Have the courage, the sheer audacity, the plain cheekiness if you like, to claim equality in the sales process. Therefore be prepared to end the meeting right now, perhaps even before it really gets going, if you are not convinced by the potential client, that he or she is going to do business. That’s right; be happy, prepared, willing to end the meeting and go now. In fact, if you get to do some sort of quote or presentation, some proposal or trial piece of work, you had better have a very good reason for doing so. Can you substantiate that decision by being able to point out to a third person how this prospect QUALIFIES for your crown jewels? No? Or have we just got desperate and dumped our information and expertise in a vain hope that they know they qualify?

    There is nothing more irresponsible than just laying out stuff, our features and benefits and hoping they will buy. Because what we have actually done is expected that prospect to go through a very complicated process (identify with the seller, understand the consequences of any decision right now, identify the real underlying emotional reason why they might want to do this, match all that to a possible budget, figure out how they might justify the money and time invested, ensure they have worked out their decision making cycle and followed it through) all on their own in a very short space of time. No wonder they have to pass up fabulous opportunities; the effort is too great, assuming they knew what was really required. Shame on us when we fall into that terrible temptation of answering “What can you do for me?”.

    So going back to the trainer’s favourite principle. How can it be summed up? “Go for the No.” “Stay unemotionally attached to the outcome” “Sell today, educate tomorrow” (Rule 21) “People buy in spite of the hard sell, not because of it” (Rule 26) But then again “Never help the prospect end the interview” (Rule 19) because really “There are no bad prospects, just bad salespeople” (Rule 41).

    Some strange ideas here. Intrigued enough? Don’t suppose you’d want to find out how you can do things differently? Or are you still happy to get your prospects to do all the work whilst they pass you by with a smile and a friendly “I’ll think about it”?

    Paul Glynn

    Paul Glynn

    Paul’s experience spans over twenty years of selling, sales management and training. He has worked in the financial services sector including accountancy and has been responsible for the commercial success of sales departments at director level in advertising. His clients report up to 300% increase in turnover by working with him. He is dedicated to helping businesses grow through assessments, training, coaching and mentoring. Tel: 01784 390623 Mobile: 07866 518848

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  • Today’s the Day! A-Level’s are out.

    Today’s the Day.  The 18th August is ringed in red in many calendars, in many homes across England.  A-Level Results are out and the long talked about scramble for university places starts now.  But after today how will universities change their process to sell to the brightest candidates.

    At the last count, there were 669, 956 applicants going for only 470,000 places.  Those students who miss out this year will experience largely increased fees next year.  If they reapply they could face paying £17,000 more.  This frantic race to escape such a financial increase has resulted in Universities being able to put entry requirements and pick the cream of the crop.  A university admissions office has only had to take orders this year as supply outstrips demand.

    Yet 2012 may bring a dramatic change to these institutions.  The sales process will change from a student wondering, “will they accept me?” to “why should I choose you?” The Universities need to equip their staff with the skills required to react to this shift.  And not just their admissions staff – all members of the University’s staff who interact with prospective students needs to have a “sales awareness. “ A skill they did not even need to consider before today.

    There are 2 main things that will need to be focused upon:

    1. Communication Skills – and not just on the surface “small talk” skills.  A student considering their university needs to feel they are making the right decision.  Good communication skills will mean potential students think ‘they really understand me, I could see myself studying here.’
    2. The Emotional Reason to Buy.  Deciding on a university is already on of the first important decisions a young person will make.  A university will need its staff to be able to discover “Why does this person really want to engage with higher education” and “What are there (the student’s) personal and emotional reasons?”  Then they need to be able to fit their offering to meet these.

    Now universities are charging more and students are demanding more before they buy – a “sales awareness” has to be a priority.  If not, despite all the exemplary academia on display and the cutting edge research, students will not be attracted.

    Anneli Thomson

    Anneli Thomson

    Anneli is an expert in sales culture and talent management. She is a keen champagne drinker and triathlon enthusiast. The UK Franchisee of the Year 2014.

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  • Strength of Relationship Determines Success

    By Bill Bartlett

    Spend some time in the psychology or self-help section in any bookstore and you’ll find hundreds of books written on transforming troubled relationships. Whether husband/wife, parent/child, friend/friend or employer/employee, they dominate the shelves promising THE magical solution to resolving any issue imaginable.

    If you’re in sales, what about the buyer/seller relationship? The same elements that make any relationship thrive also apply to developing and strengthening bonds with our prospects and customers.

    If I were to ask your prospects at the end of your sales calls to rate the strength of your present relationship on a scale of 1 to 10 what do you suppose they’d say? Chances are they might give you a score in the 2-4 range. Trust me. This is not enough to close business without reducing your price to absurdly low levels. Spending an hour dazzling your prospect with marvelous features and benefits doesn’t, nor has it ever, solidified anything, least of all a bond of strength.

    What would happen if you said to the same prospect that you understand that they will only do business with people they trust and ask them to share with you the ways to strengthen your relationship and build enough trust for them to make a purchase?

    Your new goal is to build that relationship to a score of 7 or above. Bartlett’s rule states: The weaker the relationship, the more pressure that is placed on the proposal. Typically, more pressure on the proposal means a salesperson will need the lowest price in order to close the deal.

    Feel free to challenge this rule by reviewing your last ten proposals. Did any close without being the lowest price point? How did the quality of your relationship with the prospect affect the closing process?

    Far too many times, salespeople misjudge the strength of the relationship with their prospect by strictly focusing on the way they are treated. Unfortunately, we have taught prospects that if they treat us well we will give them a proposal or whatever they ask for. Salespeople act this way because they are bombarded with so much rejection that they become hostages to any signs of hope or optimism.

    Let’s face it. Salespeople in general are often the neediest people on the face of the earth. This neediness can easily lead to delusion and denial and create a false sense of security that the relationship is stronger than it actually is.

    Here are three ways to build stronger relationships with prospects:

    1.  Measure all of your relationships with prospects with Olympic designations:  Gold, Silver and Bronze. The goal must be to achieve GOLD status with every prospect and customer relationship.  Gold status is “won” when you unequivocally know that they trust your values, your word and your commitment to delivery.  A partnership is established whereby any challenge they face is fully explored and they have ultimate confidence that your “solution” is best for them.  Conversely, bronze status is just what it infers:  either the prospect/customer or you are focused on a price-based sale versus a long-term relationship.

    2. Demonstrate that you value your prospects and customers more than simply a source of revenue. I always ask every prospect and customer I have what I must do to provide more service to them than any of my competitors.  You must recognize that a sale is accomplished between the buyer and seller, not two companies.

    3. Fully comprehend your competitive position. Take out a sheet of paper and draw a line down the middle.  At the top of one half, write your company’s name and on the other, your top competitor’s.  In each column, objectively list the relationship “leverage points” referencing gold, silver and bronze status above that you believe each company has with a prospect.   All things being equal, all potential buyers will do business with sellers they know and trust.

    Prospects/buyers are more astute today than ever and are armed against the slick, fast-talking, manipulative “antics” of sellers who only want to make money.  Professional selling demands that salespeople understand that a rock-solid relationship is the foremost “feature and benefit” for a prospect.  Everything seamlessly unfolds from there.

    Bill Bartlett is the president of Corporate Strategies & Solutions, a Sandler Training Center in Naperville, Illinois.

    Blog Editor

    Blog Editor

    Lisette Howlett edits the Sandler UK blog. If you have any questions or would like to submit a blog please contact her. Tel: 020 7484 5556 Email: Lisette.howlett@sandler.com

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  • (No) Queues Ahead

    Who likes queuing? No, me neither. I think it shows. I think the guy sitting next to me can tell, now I’m finally onboard the flight – after queuing through customs, queuing to buy a bottle of Evian, standing in line to buy some Duty-Free.

    Still, I’m here now – and all that waiting did give me plenty of time to think.

    Like, how come when we’re standing with a basket of shopping, waiting to buy, we get shepherded into those little queuing-pens, and obediently wait to be called?

    And then – when it’s our turn to do the selling – every sales training course shows you the same stuff, the same techniques, so you end up stood in another orderly queue, behind every other seller.

    That’s the thing about training courses. They’re great for Compliance. You learn a bunch of things, leave with a thick ring-binder manual, and you get on with the compliance. Fine for Health & Safety. Fine for Employment Law. For maintaining standards.

    When we’re growing our business, though, we’re not trying to maintain the status quo.  We’re not in Compliance-mode. Queuing obediently. We’re in Freedom-mode. Free to adapt to the uncertainties of the terrain. You’re not going to buy a  roadmap, because you’re not going by road.

    At Sandler, we don’t sell roadmaps. We guide. We support business leaders with our knowledge and experience.

    Because, if you’re ambitious, if you’re serious about growing the business, then you know the journey is  going to adventurous. So we work alongside you, proving the route we’re both taking, showing you the steps and the handholds.

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on throwing away the roadmap –  or even just the best idea you had while standing in a queue.

    Blog Editor

    Blog Editor

    Lisette Howlett edits the Sandler UK blog. If you have any questions or would like to submit a blog please contact her. Tel: 020 7484 5556 Email: Lisette.howlett@sandler.com

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