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How to Follow Up with Sales Prospects Without Being Annoying

 

 

 

 

When was the last time you had an annoying follow-up call from a salesperson?

 

Perhaps you’ve met with them, they offered you solutions to that you were looking for, you wanted some time to think things through, and right after that meeting, they started those dreaded follow up calls.

 

The call in itself, or the caller, are probably not annoying. They just happened to catch you at the wrong time. Maybe at the end of a long day, or hours away from a high-pressure deadline.

 

So you end up responding with a brisk, ‘Please call me later,’ or perhaps a slightly harsher ‘I can’t talk right now, I’ll call you when I’m free.’

 

Now let’s flip the table.

 

Ever found yourself waiting a month after a meeting with a prospect, and wondering why they haven’t answered you back?

 

The meeting went fantastic, the prospect definitely showed interest and said they needed some time to ‘discuss it internally’.

 

But it’s been a month since then, and there’s been no response to the gentle follow-up emails that you sent since then, and no response on your follow-up calls .

 

There are a few reasons your clients might not be responding:

 

  1. They’re busier than you think or know
  2. They’re not entirely convinced yet, or haven’t reached a decision yet
  3. They don’t like saying ‘No’

 

But for you, at the selling end of that conversation, you need an answer, even if it is a ‘No’. So how do you follow up without being annoying?

 

 

Ways to Follow Up Without Being Annoying

 

1. Don’t follow up to sell, follow up to HELP.

 

Don’t follow up to sell, follow up to HELP and add value.

 

Perhaps you can share an article that you think would be helpful or relevant, or send them a case study or an industry report that might give them some new insights.

You could even refer a client to them. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again: You can add value much before the actual sale happens, so do! People appreciate that.

 

 

2. Interact with them outside of the sales conversation – invite them to an exhibition, or a networking event

 

A great way to build some rapport with a client is to invite them to a networking event, a trade fair or an exhibition – some form of a semi-professional or work-related platform, for some face-time outside of just your sales meeting.

 

Once again, you could be adding some real value to them here, and giving them a chance to see that you’re a proactive, well-connected professional!

 

For them, they might end up having a fruitful event that opens new business opportunities and contacts, and they’ve seen you in a different light.

 

It’s win-win for everyone!

 

 

3. Work to their schedule

 

Now remember, they might be busier than you think or know. If they give you a time and date to follow up, then follow that schedule.

 

If they’re busy when you reach out (even if they’re a little snappy!) stay polite, ask for another time to call them, and then follow up accordingly. Get a date and time from them for you to call or reach out again, something convenient for them, and stick to it.

 

These are just simple ways of how you can stay on top of the mind of the customer, without actually just following up.

 

Again, in the process of this structured follow-up, be sure to use Tip 1: Add value to them. Remain on the top of their minds for reasons other than the fact that they’re a potential customer.

 

Now it’s not necessary that these tips will close the deal for you – there are so many other factors at play when a potential buyer is coming to a decision.

 

But it’s important to ensure that throughout your interaction with a customer, you’re never giving them reason NOT to buy from you.

 

If you’re annoying them with a rigorous, daily or weekly follow-up that says ‘Hey, have you had the time to look at my proposal’, you might be doing just that – driving them away, or giving them a reason not to buy from you.

 

So remember, put yourself in their shoes. Be mindful of their time and other commitments, always try and help them and add value, and show them that you understand their pressures! You’re being genuine.

 

They’re much more likely to transact with someone that does all those things than just another salesperson with an agenda.

 

 

We hope this video has helped you a little further along your journey to winning at sales.  Sign up to our newsletter to receive valuable sales tips like this and much more right from the gurus, straight to your inbox.

 

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The Only Tip You Need to Ensure Your Sales Funnel Never Runs Dry

 

Meet Jones & Jones. They are a young, successful architecture firm and they’re two months away from completing one of the largest building projects in the city.

 

Their office is a busy, bustling place, and their meetings are all geared towards discussing the final touches on this grand project that they are finishing – it is, after all, going to be the jewel in their crust as they grow.

 

But they have a problem on hand. They’ve been so busy working on this one project that they’ve got nothing in the pipeline for potential next projects.

 

They’ve dedicated all their resources towards keeping their current client happy and in the process, taken their eye off of their sales funnel. As a result – their business projections for the next quarter are completely hypothetical.

 

They have no new customers or leads in the funnel, and they’re likely to run into a long, dry phase with no projects. This scenario damages businesses beyond measure.

 

The truth is, this happens to businesses and entrepreneurs pretty often.

 

Especially in the early days of a business when an entrepreneur wears several hats – sales, marketing and getting the actual products or services delivered, it’s easy to overlook the sales funnel and let it run dry.

 

Before we get into the most effective way for you to keep your sales funnel full at all times, let’s first take a look at the structure of a sales funnel.

 

 

What is a Sales Funnel?

 

A sales funnel is the systematic journey that you take a potential customer through, all the way from awareness to finally closing a deal and delivering your product or service.

 

While the term may sound like sales jargon to those that don’t understand it, the true potential of a well-structured sales funnel is what sets a winning sales team apart from a struggling one.

 

Here is what a typical sales funnel looks like:

 

Sales funnel

 

 

Prospecting or Lead Generation is your marketing strategy to build awareness about your product or service. It involves you reaching as many potential customers as possible. You could be doing this digitally through blog posts, social media and advertising. Or on the ground through events, networking, and other marketing activities.

 

Qualification involves evaluating all the potential customers that have responded to your marketing activities, and then funneling them down to only customers that are likely to buy from you. This could involve factors such as budget and affordability (Can they afford your product?), the type of their problems or needs (If your products are the right solution for their problems), their level of interest in your solutions, and more.

 

You should only be setting meetings and diving deeper into need analysis exercises with qualified prospects or leads. Prospects and leads that are moved to the next stage are considered ‘opportunities.’

 

The Sales Meeting is where you would assess your customer’s needs down to every detail.

 

Proposals and Negotiation. Based on your meetings and discussion, you would propose a solution, price and terms, and here, you might go back and forth a few times until you arrive at a deal that is agreeable to both sides.

 

Finally, you close the deal and put all the wheels in motion to deliver your product or service.

 

 

So Where Does It All Go Wrong?

 

Remember the Jones & Jones story? Businesses and salespeople often go wrong when they take their focus off of the entire funnel. They get stuck in the bottom few phases.

 

They’re so busy servicing a client, delivering a project, developing an opportunity or negotiating and closing sales, that they forget that there is no consistent flow of leads coming into the funnel.

 

The funnel naturally narrows down as leads go through the various phases. So if there is a slowdown in the number of leads entering in the first place, there is very little chance that anything trickles down the funnel to convert into closed business.

 

The result: It might seem like things are going great, but it’s not long before sales revenue comes to a standstill.

 

 

How Do You Ensure a Consistently Full Funnel?

 

If you look for tips and tricks to ensure your sales funnel is always full, you’ll find a lot of them. You can always turn to the experts for marketing tips and activities that can keep your ‘top of the funnel’ full of new leads. You can use advertisements, articles, social media engagement, videos, whitepapers, emails campaigns… the list goes on.

 

But there’s one fundamental tip that covers them all. Well, there’s two parts to the one fundamental tip. Part 1: Set targets for every single level of your funnel, and track and monitor it regularly to meet those targets.

 

And Part 2: Match and align your sales activities to these targets. If you need 100 new leads to enter the funnel every week, are your sales activities sufficient to generate those 100 leads? Are you spending the time and making the effort required to make those 100 leads happen?

 

If you’re not, then which part of the funnel are you spending most of your time? Taking a close look at your sales activities is a crucial part of ensuring your sales funnel never runs dry.

 

Confused? We’ll break it down:

 

Let’s work backward. Let’s say you need to close deals and deliver your services to a total of 15 clients per month. That’s the target you attach to the bottom of your funnel – the desired end result of all your sales efforts.

 

To close 15 clients, let’s say you need to send proposals to a total of 20 clients.

 

To get to the proposal phase with 20 clients, work out how many meetings you would need to take. Let’s assume that to send out 20 proposals, you would need to take 30 meetings. (We’re assuming here, but you should be using solid numbers based on your past sales records if you can)

 

In order for you to take 30 meetings, how many qualified leads do you need? Let’s assume you are able to manage meetings with 50% of your qualified leads. That means you need 30 x 2 = 60 qualified leads.

 

Further, out of all the leads coming into your funnel if you’re only qualifying about 50%, then you need 60 x 2 = 120 new prospects or new leads entering your sales funnel every month.

 

Here are the numbers pitched against the sales funnel in an easier-to-digest format:

 

Sales funnel 2

 

 

If you have clear visibility on these numbers, and are executing your sales and marketing activities so that you have a sufficient number of prospects or leads at every stage, then you can rest assured that your sales funnel will never run dry.
This steady flow of business is an immense source of confidence for businesses and salespeople.
You’ll always have prospects to qualify, send proposals to, negotiate with, and close business with.

 

 

Got questions? We’ve got answers! Leave us a comment below, or drop us a line on info@tafse.ae, and we’ll help you figure your sales funnel out.

 

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Why Giving Discounts Is Hurting Your Business More Than You Think and What to Do Instead

 

 

 

 

When was the last time you gave in and gave a customer a discount?

 

As a salesperson, chances are that you’re often faced with the decision of whether or not to offer a discount and get that sale. You do, after all, need the business in order to grow.

 

But the truth is that while giving a discount might help to close the deal, that one single act changes your relationship with the client in question, and affects your business on the whole.

 

The obvious impact is, of course, that your revenues take a hit every time you give a discount. But let’s take a look at all the other painful side effects of discounting your products or services:

 

 

1. It devalues your business, product or service

 

Giving discounts shows that you lack the confidence to hold your ground when it comes to price. It shows that you are ok with selling at a lower price than you were asking for, which devalues your product or service. If you are sure of the value that your business, product or service brings to the table, there should be no reason why a price reduction is justified.

 

 

2. It becomes an expectation

 

Giving discounts is a vicious cycle. Once you give a customer a discount, they’ll expect it again, and you can’t raise prices once you’re ‘established’, even if that was what you had planned to do. Depending on the industry that you operate in, word could also get around that you give certain customers discounts, and the expectation carries forward.

 

 

3. It puts you in the ‘price game’

 

The second you give in and give a discount, you’re playing the ‘price game’. You’ve made price the factor that someone buys from you, which devalues your product or service’s true quality and benefit. It also means that your customers are likely to go with a cheaper option when they find one.

 

But customers ask for discounts – they’re always going to try and get the best deal possible. And of course, you want the business too, so you can’t just say ‘No’ and walk away from every deal.

 

 

So here’s what you do instead of offering a discount:

 

  1. Remind the customer about their problem or the opportunity that you are bringing to them. It is either a problem that impacts profitability, or an opportunity that increases profitability. Bring that discussion to light again.
  2. Let them see the building blocks of your USP – if you’re at the price discussion point, then you’ve convinced the customer that you have something valuable to offer. Remind them of that value again.
  3. Give additional value instead of discounting – for instance, add something into your package, or give them an extra unit within the same price. It is better (and often more cost-effective) for you to add a little something, than to cut price down.

 

Lastly, prepare before hand for the negotiation discussion. Negotiation catches some of the best salespeople off-guard. Before you get to that point, make a list of a list of all the things that you want from the customer, and what they could want from you. Play the ‘give some, get some’ card.

 

So if all else fails, and a discount is the only way forward, be sure to get something in return like better payment terms, or a long-term contract.

 

How do you handle discount requests? Do you give in and end up giving a discount, or use one of the methods we’ve outlined above? If you’ve got a more creative approach, then we’d love to know!

 

 

We hope this video has helped you a little further along your journey to winning at sales.  Sign up to our newsletter to receive valuable sales tips like this and much more right from the gurus, straight to your inbox.

 

How to Have A Killer Sales Meeting Every Single Time

 

 

Ever walked out of a sales meeting and thought, “That didn’t go as planned…”?

 

You get in your car and you’re driving back to the office and in your head you keep going over all the things you could have said but didn’t say.

 

You’re not alone. Many salespeople walk into meetings and completely miss the mark with their customers. Even though they have a great product or solution, and it is a good fit for the client’s needs, they struggle to get their customers on board, and to try or buy whatever it is that they’re selling.

 

 

So, what do you do to change this? What do you do to ensure that you have a killer sales meeting every single time?  

 

A sales meeting can be a daunting experience if you’re unprepared.

 

If you haven’t done your homework, every response that you get from the customer’s end becomes unpredictable. That makes your answers unpredictable.

 

As a result, the meeting takes its own course and you, as the salesperson, lose control. And then, closing the deal becomes a matter of chance.

 

But this doesn’t have to be the case. In fact, it cannot be the case if you have targets to hit or a business to grow.

 

 

Here are a few tips for you to apply before and during a sales meeting to ensure that the deal is a surefire YES:

 

Pre-Meeting:

  • Research is key.

Before you go into that meeting, gather as much information as you can on your customer and their business, the industry they operate in, and the general trends and pressures they are subject to.

 

Know their products and services, their target audience and their competitors. Give them the confidence that you understand their business and their struggles, so that when you present a solution, they’re already in a place of trust and comfort with you.

 

  • Contacts and connections.

Look for people you know inside of their organization. If you do, let your contact know that you are developing an opportunity at their company.

Try and ask them for any information that they can share, that might help you in your meeting. When convenient, you can ask them to put in a quick good word for you with the department or decision maker you will be dealing with.

 

  • Clear agenda, clear objectives.

Set a clear agenda for your meeting, and share it with your customer beforehand, if possible. You should have a clear idea about the objectives of your meeting, too. Remember, it takes about seven touch points – meetings, phone calls, e-mails –before you get around to closing a sale.

 

The objective of your first meeting might be just to understand the customer’s problems, and explain your solution. The next might be to present your proposal. The third meeting might be to negotiate. Know what stage you’re at, and the objective of every meeting.

 

 

In-Meeting:

  • Get your customers talking!

Keep the meeting interactive – ask questions, and get your customer talking about their business, their industry and their customers.

 

  • Focus on their problems.

It is your job to use the right questions to get your customers talking about their problems. Spend time on understanding those problems, and bring to their attention (if they don’t see it already), the cost of not addressing those problems right away.

 

  • Bring value to the table. 

Throughout the conversation, find ways that you can add value to them even before the actual sale or deal takes place.

Can you think of a book or an article that might help them, that you can send them a link or a copy of? Can you think of a potential customer for them, and make a quick introduction? Perhaps you can invite them to a trade fair, an exhibition or a networking event that would be relevant for them. In any way that you can add value, try and do so.

 

  • Clear next steps and a timeline.

Do not, under any circumstances, leave a meeting open-ended or with ambiguous next steps in the process.

 

Always define clearly what will happen next, whether it’s booking a second meeting to present your proposal, or them discussing your solution with the team and coming back to you, and set a timeline for that next step.

 

Follow that timeline, and respond in time. Send them a timely reminder, if there’s any follow-up action on their part.

 

 

Following these steps will ensure that you’ve set the stage for the deal to come through. It also shows the customer that you’re prepared, confident, detailed in your efforts, and that they are in good hands.

 

All of this just makes it a little easier to close that deal.

 

 

We hope this article has helped you a little further along your journey to winning at sales.  Sign up to our newsletter to receive valuable sales tips like this and much more right from the gurus, straight to your inbox.

 

How to Accelerate the Buying Decision and Sell Faster

 

 

 

 

 

They know that you are the right solution for them, they like you, trust you, and want to do business with you.

 

But when it’s time to seal the deal, things just get “stuck” – your client just stops engaging with you. They gradually stop replying to your emails and don’t answer your calls.

 

You start to question and doubt yourself. You think: What happened? How did I lose this one? Did I misjudge their interests? Was I too expensive? Did I say or do something wrong?… It’s a never-ending self-doubt journey.

 

In sales, these ‘stuck’ opportunities are what we call ‘Dormant Opportunities.

 

And they’re far more common than you might think. These are deals that you have not lost yet haven’t won either – they’re deals in limbo.

 

So what do you do to avoid a sales opportunity from becoming dormant?

 

How do you get ‘un-stuck’, and how do you accelerate the buying decision so you can close sales effectively?

 

 

3 Key Steps to Accelerate Buy-In:

 

Here are three key steps you can take to proactively keep the sales process moving smoothly right from the start.

 

With these steps in place, it’s unlikely that your conversations will come to a stop. But if they do, these steps will help you to get the process moving again too:

 

1. First, start with identifying possible obstacles

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Try to look at things from their perspective. Think: What could be holding this person or organization back from taking the final decision?

 

Make a careful list of all of these possible obstacles that might be preventing your client from closing business with you.

 

2. Next, find ways to overcome those obstacles

Once you’ve found the problem, or problems, ask yourself “How do I help them overcome these obstacles? Can I dissolve some of these concerns?”

 

Grab a piece of paper and write down every idea you can think of.

 

3. Finally, create tools that help you and your customer to overcome these identified problems.

These tools can be industry-based information, client testimonials, reports, case studies – anything that supports you to solve these possible problems, and helps the client to believe that they’re making the right decision by going with you.

 

 

Let’s explore an example or two.  

 

One common obstacle might be, “We don’t see enough reason to change yet”. Most of the time, customers might not feel the financial investment is justified.

 

The solution here is to put yourself in the customer’s shoes.

 

Ask yourself: Why do they feel like the cost isn’t justified? What do you know about the benefits of your products or services that they don’t? How can you help them see that there is a significant advantage for them in the product or service you are offering?

 

Here is where those ‘Sales Tools’ are helpful.  Share articles, reports, white papers and even expert opinion on relevant industry trends as to how your product or service is helping businesses increase their bottom line.

 

Feel free to share before and after scenarios, too, or relevant examples of companies just like theirs.

 

Try to assess missed cost opportunities. Get your clients to think about this: How much is it costing them in lost business or new opportunities to not use your product or service?

 

These are just some of the tools you can use to overcome a very common obstacle in sales.

 

Another obstacle might be: “Can’t get internal buy-in from the final decision makers”

 

You may have customers who are sold on your offering themselves but are struggling to get a buy-in from the other stakeholders. Getting them all in the same boat can be challenging.

 

Guide your customer to lead this change initiative. Evaluate the decision steps, understand how you can help their internal process along.

 

Organize peer to peer meetings between your company and the customer’s company. Have videos, and share previous customer experiences. Share proven success stories and honest testimonials of customers.

 

Try to sample your products and services so the customer can get a taste of your solutions. It is only natural that you will find yourself facing dormant opportunities at some point.

 

 

It helps to learn from your challenges, anticipate customer roadblocks and invest time and resources into creating the tools you need to help customers along their sales journey.

 

Over the years, this thought process has proven to be invaluable to some of my clients. One, for example, was able to greatly speed up their sales cycle by simply creating and sharing an industry analyst’s report on a regular basis.

 

Remember not to get disheartened when opportunities slow down – there’s always a reason. You just have to find the reason and figure out a way to overcome it, if you know this is a deal that you really want to close.

 

It’s a whole other question when the deal is not as lucrative as you would like… in that case, it might be counter-intuitive to chase it or try to accelerate buy-in. Check out our blog on ‘How to Prevent Yourself from Getting Stuck in A Bad Sales Deal’ for more on that!

 

 

How to Prevent Your Business from Getting Stuck in a Bad Sales Deal

 

 

A few weeks ago, our team walked into a big client meeting. It was the final round of discussions. We had won the client over and were now negotiating our deal.

 

The client was a large, reputable organization and the benefits of working on the project were manifold – the money was great, it was an annual contract, the work involved delivering what we do best (which is sales capability development, if you’re wondering), and we would have a big name to add to our client list. It was bound to open a lot more doors for us.

 

During the meeting, the client chopped down our proposal, demanded new deliverables outside of the pre-discussed scope, squeezed us on payment terms. They did everything they could do to get the best of the deal.

 

Sound familiar? ‘Business as usual,’ you might say.

 

At the end of the meeting, the client was ready to sign (at their squeezed terms, of course), it was still good money for our business, but we walked out deciding not to sign the deal.

 

Why?

 

Because we realized that this account, as alluring as it may seem, was the wrong decision for us at this point.

 

This was a demanding client who would drain all of our resources, limit the time and attention we give to our other clients and will be squeezing us every given opportunity.

 

Though the project in itself might be a good sale for us, it would damage us in the long run and jeopardize some of our long-standing relationships. We had to say ‘no’.

 

Was it difficult? Absolutely.

 

When the advantages of a big project or client are staring you in the face, it’s difficult to walk away from the deal. When you’re so close to closing an account that seems like it could be extremely fruitful for business, it’s hard to turn down the offer.

 

But sometimes, saying no is the best alternative. A ‘bad’ sales deal is never worth pursuing, no matter how much behind your sales targets you are.

 

 

First, let’s talk about what counts as a ‘bad’ sales deal.

 

A bad sales deal is one that does more harm than good for your business in the long run. It might seem promising, but once you’ve locked and signed the deal, companies find themselves giving more time and resources than they can afford to, to meet irrationally high customer demands.

 

Often, for business owners and teams, this also means deviating from their vision and objectives in the draining effort to serve this demanding account.

 

A bad deal can-

  • Waste time that could be better spent on more promising avenues
  • Damage relationships with other clients, and with the client involved in the deal
  • Hurt your business financially
  • Demotivate employees

 

It takes experience and hard-earned wisdom to turn down a potentially bad sale.

 

 

Here are a few tips to prevent yourself from getting stuck in one:

 

In terms of price:

Set a starting point, a midpoint and walk-away point well before you enter the negotiation phase.

 

Decide at what point and how far you are willing to go before the actual negotiations begin. And then, hold your ground. Write down what each of these figures looks like for you, so you don’t get intimated by the discussions.

 

Your conviction will help you stand on firm ground even when you’re fighting an uphill battle against someone who is negotiating aggressively.

 

It is important to acknowledge that when a deal drops below your walk-away point, it’s turning into what might be a ‘bad’ deal, and it might be worth dropping the conversation.

 

 

In terms of deliverables:

Be clear on what you can deliver, what you can offer on top of that, and what you cannot deliver at all.

 

Things will start to go downhill pretty quickly if you’ve committed to deliverables during the negotiation phase that you are not able to meet. Have a clear idea of what you can and cannot deliver, and stay in line with that list throughout the discussion.

 

Here too, clearly communicate when you are not going to be able to deliver on a particular client demand. There’s no point in saying yes just to win the account, and then struggle to meet the requirement after.

 

Create your ‘tradables’ list:

Plan ahead and decide on what you are willing to exchange or trade during negotiations. What can you give and what can you ask for in return?

 

It’s no secret that one of the most critical aspects of salesmanship is the art of negotiation. It’s a give-and-take dance.

 

Very rarely does everything go your way. So before you go into the negotiation, create a list of what are you willing to compromise and give to your client, and at the same time what you can ask for in return.

 

Imagine as many possible outcomes as you can. The more creative you get here about what you can offer during negotiations, the more options and scenarios you have and the more room you have to negotiate.

 

Being fully prepared will instill you with confidence once the negotiations begin.

 

While negotiating, keep emotion out of it – making a sound, practical and healthy sale for your business

 

It’s easy to get frustrated and even angry when you’re negotiating. You might get defensive about what you’re offering, and feel like the person on the other side of the table is failing to see the ‘value’ of your product or service.

 

It’s important to keep that in mind and approach the conversation with a calm mind, and with complete clarity on what you’re offering, for how much and how far you are willing to compromise.

 

It’s human nature to ponder on how something could have been done differently. Push past these feelings. Think of the numbers, and think of clients and projects that are the right fit for your organization. Which brings us to our next point –

 

Never lose sight of the bigger picture

 

Remember to always tune into your business’ bigger picture – your mission, your vision and the change that you want to bring about as an organization.

 

There is a reason you choose to work with certain types of clients and on certain kinds of projects. Find that reason and tune back into it. Every deal that you sign should help you grow as a business, not derail your purpose or vision, no matter how big or small.

 

Remember Your Values

 

No deal, good or bad, is worth compromising on your (or your business’) core beliefs and value system.

 

Remembering these makes it easier to walk away from a bad sales deal. Remember why you enjoy your job, and why you enjoy closing a good deal.
Sometimes a sales deal might not fit those core criteria for your business, and even if you only come to that realization in the negotiation stage, it might be worth letting go of the deal.

 

 

Putting it all together

 

If, after all the efforts you put into the negotiation, your potential customer remains rigid, then that is a red flag that you shouldn’t ignore.

 

If your customer doesn’t participate in the give-and-take of the negotiation, is focused on really squeezing you to get the best out of the deal, and has a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude, then the chances are that even if you sign this one deal, you will never forge a fruitful, long-term business relationship here.

 

At any point during your negotiations, if you feel like a sales deal is pulling you away from your vision or even conflicting with your business’ values, then weigh the situation and decide if it’s worth going ahead with the sale.

 

Watch out for these signs, and learn to say ‘no’ when you see things aren’t looking right.

 

Remember, closing one wrong door might open many other right doors for you and your business.

 

 

One last piece of advice:

 

You don’t want to burn bridges. You may not have managed to make a sale today, but things change. Your customer may have a change of heart sometime in the future, or they might see your value after they experience a different provider.

 

So even when you’re saying no at the end of an exhausting negotiation talk, always exit an unfavorable deal in the most diplomatic way possible.

 

When was the last time you were stuck in a bad sales deal? Did you see the red flags before you signed the agreement? At TAFSE, we’re all about learning from each other! Share with us your experiences in the comments section below.

 

 

What’s really happening inside the customer’s mind

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You said you want to talk to me and Help,

I’ve met with you, and all you want to do is Sell,

Last time we sat together, I didn’t speak,

It was you who spoke, and all you did is tell, tell, tell”

 

 

Have you ever found yourself in such a situation? One where someone kept trying to talk you into buying their products, without asking what you needed in the first place? Maybe you gave them an appointment to see how they could help you, but all they did was go on and on about their company, products, and services.

 

Or maybe it was the other way around. Perhaps you were the one who rushed into trying to sell something to someone before actually taking the time to understand their business and their problems.

 

It happens. Most of us have been there. The key to avoiding such a situation is to put yourselves in the shoes of whoever you are selling to and understand what is actually happening inside their mind.

 

There are four main things that are happening inside the mind of your customer that you need to make sure you’re addressing:

 

 

1: Don’t waste my time

 

Remember, time is money. Everyone has something better to do, and somewhere else to be. So why should they give you their time? You need to find ways to add value to your customers and be beneficial to them even before the buying process.

 

People don’t want to meet with you just for you to sell to them. Think of different ideas that you can bring to the conversation to help them.  Now how do you do that?

 

 

2: Do you understand my business? My problems and goals?

 

Research. Read up on your customers, their industries, and their products and services.

 

Try to get a better understanding of their environment and the challenges they may be facing.
Have a set of questions ready in advance. These questions should encourage your customer to talk – they should want to tell you about their problems. It will help you understand their perspective, and it will also make the client feel like you actually care about helping them, rather than just selling to them.

 

 

3: How do I know I can trust you? Are you credible?

 

How can the client know they can rely on you? Do you have any success stories about a similar business to theirs to share?

 

Make sure you bring these up during the conversation. Let them know that you know what you are doing. You’ve done it before with great success, and you are going to continue doing it for a long time.

 

However, everyone has to start somewhere. If you are a new business, then focus on yourself as a professional in your industry rather than on your business, and the changes that you can bring to the table.

 

 

4: Will your product or solution really work?

 

Always tie in your success stories to the bottom line of your customers.

 

Show them a likely return on investment. Show them the money in any way you can. Have you helped others reduce their cost or increase their sales? Find that link and then capitalize on it.

 

  

So remember, always think of ways to add value to your customer, so they’re eager to spend time with you.

 

Take the time to understand their problems before and during your conversation with them.

 

Give them a reason to trust you – tell them who else has worked with you and how it has gone.

 

Help them to see that your products and services have done great for others – show them tangible, positive results, and the sale will be yours before you know it!

 

 

We hope this article has helped you a little further along your journey to winning at sales.  Sign up to our newsletter to receive valuable sales tips like this and much more right from the gurus, straight to your inbox!

 

 

Why Star Salespeople Sometimes Make Bad Sales Leaders

 

Have you ever been promoted to a sales leadership position and felt unprepared to handle the new challenge? Or perhaps you’ve seen star salespeople in your organization get promoted, and struggle with their new leadership roles.

 

While these individuals have a thorough understanding of sales, it takes a whole different set of skills to lead a sales team to success. The game suddenly changes from an individual, target-driven one to a team-driving effort.

 

If the transition isn’t well managed, what follows is a lose-lose situation for everyone involved. The sales department loses its top salesperson, and the company’s leadership team now has a leader whose skills might not be a good fit for their new responsibilities.

 

For the salesperson-turned-sales-leader, it’s frustration at every turn. They are used to closing deals and hitting success, and now suddenly, they find themselves unable to explain why their department isn’t meeting its targets.

 

This article serves two purposes: First, it will help you reflect on whether or not you have transitioned smoothly from your sales role to a sales leadership role. Secondly, as an owner or director of your organization, it will help you realize if anyone on your sales leadership team might need to work on their leadership skills.

 

 

The Real Problem

 

The truth is that the instincts that make a salesperson great can be, in many ways, crippling for a sales leader.

 

It’s no longer just aggressive target-chasing and keeping clients happy. Sales leaders need empathy. They need the skills it takes to support a whole team of individuals to go out and perform like they did.

 

 

Here are a few hazards to watch out for when it comes to salespeople who have worked their way to the top as sales leaders, and ways to overcome them:

 

 

They sometimes lack internal communication skills

 

These sales superstars might be great at externally-facing client conversations, but when it comes to talking to, coaching and developing their teams, they fall short.

 

They don’t spend the time nurturing their team, rarely make the time for one-on-one meetings to check on their team members’ performance and support them through their challenges.

 

Most meetings and conversations are more about numbers and targets, and less about the people that are meeting those numbers and targets.

 

 

They’re afraid to give up control

 

For many top salespeople, taking control is an instinct. These sales superstars are used to holding the reigns when it comes to sales conversations, and they often step in and take over a client conversation being lead by a team member.

 

While they are doing this in the best interest of the business, it demonstrates a lack of confidence in their team. This clips their wings – it prevents a team member from learning and growing as a professional.

 

All in all, this particular behavior can stir a few negative sentiments internally, and reflects poorly to clients, too.

 

 

Closing a sale is more important to them than long-term relationships

 

Many top salespeople approach targets, results, and performance on a 30-day cycle. For a sales leader, that short-sightedness could prove negative.

 

Some salespeople will go the extra mile and do what it takes to close a deal but fall short on delivering that same level of service after the sale has closed. This kind of DNA could lead to a sales team full of over-promisers and under-deliverers.

 

 

They’re reactive, but not necessarily proactive

 

Most successful salespeople, although they might be a part of a team, operate as solo powerhouses. They’re used to getting out there, firing up the conversation and closing a deal all by themselves.

 

They’re quick to respond to client requests, revise quotes, raise orders and get things done to move the sale process along. What they might not be good at is long-term strategic thinking. They might not be proactive leaders who see a problem long before it comes.

 

 

They’re motivated by results rather than a bigger purpose

 

While all good leaders will always have one eye on the target, they focus on ‘how’ just as much as they focus on ‘how much’.

 

A great salesperson is often driven by targets and numbers, and it might be difficult to switch this key motivator off and focus on team-building, motivating and helping the team stay in touch with the bigger purpose that their organization is serving.

 

As Simon Sinek says, people don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it. A good sales leader will always keep that ‘why’ fresh in their team’s minds, rather than just chasing numbers.

 

 

But don’t get us wrong, some of the world’s best sales leaders were once target-driven salespeople themselves.

 

These are just a few common pitfalls that many sales leaders fall into when they take over their sales leadership roles. The key lies in identifying these challenges and addressing them.

 

 

Here’s how you can help your star salesperson transition into a star sales leader:

 

Invest in their learning and development

Provide your sales leaders the right kind of coaching and training to develop and hone the skills they need to be good leaders. Provide them with the tools to share their wisdom, experience, and expertise to drive their team to success.

 

Give them time and attention

A new role with new responsibilities can be overwhelming. Guide them into it, have open conversations with them about their strengths and the challenges they are likely to face. Give them the time to adjust to the new hats they will be wearing.

 

Give them the room to grow into leaders

It’s crucial to give leaders the freedom to make changes in their department as they see fit. They shouldn’t feel pressured to prove themselves, and make drastic changes just because of that, nor should they be afraid to introduce new ideas. It’s all about maintaining a balance and giving them the room to take responsibility.

 

 

Providing sales leaders with these tools and support, in addition to their already-proven stellar sales acumen, could prove to be one of the most significant factors behind your sales team’s success.

 

Your turn now: Have you successfully transitioned into a star sales leader or watched someone in your organization make the switch? Share with us in the comment section below about the transition, and how you or they managed and overcame the challenges that came with it.

 

 

4 main selling activities that you should be doing more of..


As a professional we have the opportunity to doing so many things other than selling. When we are in business, we can get busy with paper works, and many things other than reading, driving our business forward through activities that bring sales wizard. Now if you are in selling and you are spending the time on anything other than the activities to bring with the sales wizard, how much that costing you..? if you are working for yourself or if you are working for somebody else..because,if you spend your time with the wrong activities you can automatically feel the difference right here in your pocket. So here is just some basic activities that you as professional could be doing and you proud to be one of the more of one versus the others so that you are able to achieve the results and your goals fast and also even easier..

4 main selling activities

So what are the different tasks that sales professionals should be doing..? Here we go..the first one is Prospecting, means looking for opportunities. Once you find the opportunity, the next thing is you have to be doing what we call Qualifying, is to get identified by the very decision makers you got understand what are their goals..challenges..who has most power within the whole decision making process who can influences so you got visible for the various people in sign. Next is Proposal writing, in which you are gonna taking the time to writing the proposal and then there goes to submit the proposal and leads the last phase which is Negotiation.

Now if you can either be Prospecting, qualifying, writing proposals or negotiating work..which should be doing more? Should you spend same amount of time on the four..or should you spend one of them have more prior over the other..? Now to meet very obvious, for example the keys; What is the one ction that i can take to help bringing the revenue the fastest. Now it just not for you but its for your company, that cash kept be better use than staying out of the company. The one thing that makes the biggest difference in anything that we can do is the last one negotiation phase, because once you negotiate that within a little bit of time will happen and you will know if its in or out. Now ofcourse, you will get negotiate if you haven’t done the other three parts correctly. So once you done that, inorder to keep the pipeline filled up you get up do some prospecting, do some qualifying and then do some proposal writing is whether you or your team is doing that..so that you can submit the proposal and get to the neggotiation phase. How much time should you spend depends upon what is your strategy and current health of your pipeline, may 30% or 40% on qualifying and others as per your weightage. Whatever it is you got to decide what is that alternator for you. However the main element that you will gettting out of this is which you can decide how to direct your time in ternary, but we can meet the priority which should show up your priority is ofcourse drive the activity that gonna help you to get the sale. So you can enjoy in the result of that..right! and till next time make more sales..

Watch the quick video..

Why Equal Isn’t Always Good?

What’s the best way to allocate your time to develop your sales team members?

The answer is completely different from what you might think!

Watch this 2min video and find out…

 

Helping you sell more, sell faster and sell profitably

Ramez