The Selling Newsletter
*A free monthly newsletter of ideas to help make your selling easier*
Selling is the easiest job in the world…Just ask anyone who is NOTin sales!
My mission is to help make it easier for you to sell.
Best wishes for YOUR successful selling—Maura
“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
– Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943
Selling requires making many decisions. We all make decisions differently. Some people decide based on fact and others decide based on opinions. There are going to be times in sales when you have to go with your gut. In all cases, if you’re making a business decision, when your gut is telling you something—listen. The experts are sometimes wrong.
THE SELLING IDEAS FOR THIS MONTH
If you play sports it’s very easy to know how you’re doing. Just check your score. In selling there is no program or scorecard. Sure, you can check your sales figures, but selling may take several calls. Unless we make a joint sales call, we have no one to ask, “How’d I do?” Until we get the order, how do we know how we’re doing? Let’s keep score in a different way.
The 80/20 rule. You can tell the quality of the sales call by who is doing the talking. If your customer is doing 80% of the talking and you’re talking 20% give yourself some points. We want customers to feel comfortable with us. We need the information that only they have. We also need to hear if and how our customers understand our message. We can only learn this if they talk with us. If we remember that telling is not selling, we can appreciate letting the customer do most of the talking. Bob Pike, a nationally recognized sales trainer, told me about a very important study of commissioned salespeople. He said the only predictor of success was the amount of talking done by the salesman. The successful salesman talked 12 minutes while the less successful salesman talked 23 minutes.
What do they do? I always like to see a customer nodding, smiling or attentive to my selling message. I interpret this as approval of my message and me. There are some customers who are uncomfortable showing emotions, so we may not see them smiling even if they are agreeing with us. For them, I watch their body position. I check to see if their body is facing me when we’re sitting. I’ve been in joint sales calls where I actually saw the customer change his body position and point to the salesman he feels most comfortable with. It’s like a magnetic dial. Give yourself some more points if your customer is facing you or turns to face you.
What next? At the end of the sales call do you agree on the next steps and deadlines for both you and your customer? You have now increased the odds that the actions will occur. Most people will honor their words and their commitments. If you clearly identify next steps, give yourself more points.
What do you do with all these points? Take all your points and score yourself after each sales call. After several calls, you’ll see if you are maintaining your selling performance average. There are also bonus selling points.
Give yourself some bonus points if you are on track for making your sales goals this year. If you are giving it your all and you are having a tough time, give yourself some points, too. After all, we are striving for excellence, not perfection. The two are different. If your goals for this year are already written, quantified, and achievable, give yourself more points. You can now hit the ground running for the rest of the year with a clear path and destination in mind. Whatever score you get, best wishes for a great selling year.
SELLING ACTION ITEM
Be honest with yourself as you evaluate your performance. If something isn’t working, ask someone who is succeeding for input. You may learn a strategy to adapt and implement for your business.
I’m always looking for success stories and other tips from sales professionals. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com with ideas that have worked for you. To thank you, you’ll receive a free subscription to The Selling E-Letter™, a bi-monthly selling newsletter. ($50 value)
You may have noticed that the format of the Selling Newsletter is different this month. I’m using a new selling tool. Email is a very effective selling tool to keep in touch with prospects and customers. ExactTarget makes it easy to use email to sell. =============================================
SOMETHING TO REPORT
I am working on a research project to document the role that kindness plays in selling. I’ll have a short questionnaire. If you would like to fill it out, please reply to this email with questionnaire in the subject and I’ll include you in the survey. I want to be able to prove that “Donald Trump” behavior is not the only predictor of success in business. Thanks so much for your help.–Maura
Mission: [email protected] works with business and sales professionals to make THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD (selling!) easier and more effective. After all, how can you make a difference in the world if someone hasn’t bought something from you? And don’t forget about the ideas you’re selling every day.
Privacy: At [email protected] we take privacy issues very seriously. Your information remains with us and will never be sold, shared, or distributed in any manner, for any reason.
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Maura Schreier-Fleming works with business and sales professionals to make it easier to sell more and be more productive at work. Her clients want to create long-term client relationships. They include Fujitsu, Fannie Mae and Dr Pepper/7UP. She has an M.S. in Textile Engineering from Georgia Tech and was Mobil Oil’s first female lubrication engineer in the U.S. With over 20 years of sales experience, she teaches the art and science of selling with a unique hands-on perspective and a great deal of real-life insight. She is the author of Real-World Selling for Out-of-this-World Results. Her business column ‘Selling Strategies’ appears in the Insurance Record magazine. You can contact her for seminars at company or trade association meetings at 972 380 0200 or info@BestatSelling.com
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