We are all in Sales
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Are your prospects ready to buy? Eliminate the surprise factor and find out well before the close. Here's how. shutterstock images 1,300 in Share
iStockphoto.com (MoneyWatch) Let me let you in on a little secret: Free publicity is the cheapest way to build your brand. But the right publicity -- the kind that can generate leads, build credibility, and increase awareness in the marketplace -- doesn't happen by accident. How can you gain positive national exposure that will lead prospects to your product or service?
Nothing says "trust me" like a cold call. It probably won't surprise you to know that prospects hate taking your cold calls as much as you hate making them. Often sales people tell me they are frustrated with how to generate enough quality leads to keep their pipelines filled. They are dismayed about the quality of their marketing materials, they are concerned with their company's low profile or they feel pressure because their efforts are not generating enough new prospect leads. Do you face these same hurdles?
istockphoto (MoneyWatch) Here's a dirty little secret: Prospects are laughing at you behind your back. And, I must confess, so am I. They were laughing at me, too, until I finally discovered exactly what clients said after the handshakes were over and we were by ourselves in the car congratulating each other on a great meeting. "You all sound the same, and you all say the same thing," one focus group participant confided. "You say, 'We are just the right size for you -- small enough for personal attention, big enough to get the job done.'
I stand up when a lady arrives at or leaves a table. I know, that is nostalgic and even possibly risky as it might be perceived as sexist.
by Ron Johnson | 11:16 AM November 21, 2011 This blog post is part of the HBR Online Forum The Future of Retail.
If you really want to boost your career, find a way to work in sales -- either with your current company or employer or by taking a part-time job that involves sales.
I'm terrible at delivering elevator pitches. While some people are great at making a wonderful first impression on potential clients, to me making an elevator pitch feels forced and obvious, so I usually chicken out and console myself by rationalizing that impromptu encounters with people in need of a ghostwriter aren't likely anyway.
I've had repeated requests for a checklist of techniques to make presentations more effective. Here's that list, along with links to Sales Machine posts that have more detailed suggestions and a step-by-step method.
Contrary to popular belief, it's not difficult to be successful at selling.
There are eight basic ways to defend against a lower price.
Negotiating is hard, no one denies it, but it's also a valuable skill.
No skill is more important in selling than knowing how to close the deal.
SCENARIO: You're starting a conversation with a mid-level contact at a new prospect, a large manufacturing firm. You sense from the initial greeting that the contact is willing to have a conversation, but what's the best way to begin it?
Here's a quick multiple-choice game that tests your knowledge of how your customers think, when they're considering buying from you.