• Qualify Hard, Close Easy

    Pushy Salesman

    Traditional selling systems tend to push the envelope. Maybe that’s why the perception of salespeople, and the hard sell, has left the sales profession with labels like “aggressive”, “greedy” and “sleezy”. Often when someone is approached by a salesperson their initial instinct is to run in the other direction. Immediately their guard is up and they go on the defensive, trying to protect their budget and their dignity.

    We know that we’re different. How do we break out of that traditional reputation and prove we are a business person in sales? Traditional salespeople are going to qualify easy and close hard. David Sandler always said, “If your competition is doing it, stop doing it right away.”

    When you’re working with a prospect – qualify, qualify, qualify. Traditional salespeople simply want to know “do you need a widget?” They are satisfied to uncover only the surface reasons. To qualify hard and close easy, we need to dig deeper than that. We need examples of why the prospect needs the widget, and how long their problem has existed. Have they tried different widgets in the past to try and fix the problem?

    Professionals want to know more. How much has the problem cost the prospect? How does the problem affect them personally? How they feel about the situation?

    In depth information from the prospect will ultimately will give you the slight edge over your competition. If you don’t want to look, act, and sound like a traditional salesperson, instead conduct yourself like a business person in sales. We need to bring down the prospect’s defenses asking questions that allow the prospect to come to the self-discovery our widget is a fit for their problem. By qualifying hard and closing easy, we gain their trust, and the sale.

    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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  • Don’t sound like a Traditional Salesperson

    Traditional selling systems tend to push the envelope. Maybe that’s why the perception of salespeople, and the hard sell, has left the sales profession with labels like “aggressive”, “greedy” and “sleazy”. Often when someone is approached by a salesperson their initial instinct is to run in the other direction. Immediately their guard is up and they go on the defensive, trying to protect their budget and their dignity.

    We know that we’re different. How do we break out of that traditional reputation and prove we are a business person in sales? Traditional salespeople are going to qualify easy and close hard. David Sandler always said, “If your competition is doing it, stop doing it right away.”

    When you’re working with a prospect – qualify, qualify, qualify. Traditional salespeople simply want to know “do you need a widget?” They are satisfied to uncover only the surface reasons. To qualify hard and close easy, we need to dig deeper than that. We need examples of why the prospect needs the widget, and how long their problem has existed. Have they tried different widgets in the past to try and fix the problem?

    Professionals want to know more. How much has the problem cost the prospect? How does the problem affect them personally? How they feel about the situation?

    In depth information from the prospect will ultimately will give you the slight edge over your competition. If you don’t want to look, act, and sound like a traditional salesperson, instead conduct yourself like a business person in sales. We need to bring down the prospect’s defences asking questions that allow the prospect to come to the self-discovery our widget is a fit for their problem. By qualifying hard and closing easy, we gain their trust, and the sale.

    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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  • Networking – It’s all in your head!

    What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear “networking event”? Do you shudder? Do you search through your diary looking for any excuse for a scheduling conflict? Or maybe you’ll move around your entire calendar just to make it to a networking event. Do you think, “I can’t wait to get off the phone and out of the office!”?

    Whatever your attitude towards networking, for most sales professionals it’s a necessary piece of their prospecting plan. When we think about those who like to network and those who dislike to network, we can typically align attitudes with whether they are introverted or extroverted. For introverts, they may not like to network, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of doing so. Where extroverts might gain energy and get amped up from working a room, it may mentally and emotionally drain introverts to do so. As long as you keep a positive attitude towards networking, then your status as an extrovert or introvert should be obsolete.

    How do we keep a positive attitude about networking if it’s not at the top of our list of preferred prospecting activities? Just as you would schedule your cold calls to make in your diary, also set objectives for yourself at a networking event. Give yourself the gift of an end goal in mind, and when you hit it, give yourself permission to leave.
    Let’s pretend you are going to a networking event at lunch and you’re dreading it – you would rather just make dials and you don’t want to waste time with people just there to chat. Give yourself two options:

    1. Have 3 qualified talks with new prospects. Not chit chat, but finding out what they do, some surface pain and have a next step firmly set. Regardless of how much time you spend, after three talks, you can leave.
    2. Or, set a specific time limit, an hour or hour and a half, and even if you don’t get three talks, you can leave.

    With a light at the end of the tunnel and a clear goal in mind, make sure your networking efforts are as planned as the rest of your active prospecting activities.

    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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