Jun 04 2011

Moments of No Return.

Your salespeople may be


costing you more


than sales!



Not unlike a new puppy, new (and old) salespeople who aren’t trained properly are likely to mess things up. In the end, they’ll cost you more than sales. Remember it’s your name, your image, your integrity, your authenticity, and your reputation on the line every time one of them opens her or his mouth or taps out a keyboard message.


For your (actual, but names changed) Scenerio Pleasure . . . 

“Good Morning.Thank you for calling B. Bigg Sportswear. This is Sally. How may I help you?”

“Hi, Sally! I’m Larry from LLL –that’s Little Losers Limited– and I’m looking for B. Bigg, please; can you connect me?”  

“Er, no, B. Bigg is not here. In fact, ther…”

(Stepping on the end of her sentence) “Well when will ‘B.’ be back?”

(Realizing she has a sales spammer on the line, and smiling, since “B. Bigg” is a fictitious brand name) “Oh, eight and a half weeks!”

She chuckles and starts to explain that she’s kidding, but Larry interrupts her again . . .

“Alright,well, since I met with B.Bigg downtown there the last time I was in the area, I’ll just call back then; no need to leave a message.”

“Right.Well you have a nice day, Larry from LLL!” (now laughing to herself as she hangs up since –on top of there being no B. Bigg– the “town” has only 450 residents in it and the only place to meet is the gas-station-convenience-store).

Sally can’t wait to tell Mr. Star (company president, and retired world-class athlete with lots of industry connections) about the call. He will no doubt comment on how befitting Larry’s company name is.


We all know about no such thing as a second first impression, but how often do we take the trouble to monitor the first impressions our salespeople are putting out. Appropriate, targeted, perceptive training short-circuits these “moments of no return.”

So, what’s the solution? Be –and stay– on top of your salespeople until you are confident that they are representing you and your business in as professional a manner as you want them to. This doesn’t mean “get on their case.” What it means is to make sure you provide them with the proper training (and re-training) and support — ongoing!

In life and work,

one-night stands never work!


A bad economy is not a legitimate reason to slack off in this pursuit. Just consider where you’d be without sales and with a bad reputation. Reinforcement at every level is critical in sales management.

If you are too busy owning and operating, or if you’re just not cut out to be a sales manager, go get one. Get the best person you can find –NOT the best salesperson — the best sales manager.

Great Salespeople Do Not

Make Great Sales Managers!


Some outstanding resources you can count on to steer you in the right direction:

Doyle Slayton www.SalesBlogCast.com

Jonena Relth www.TBDConsulting,com

Meredith Bell www.YourVoiceOfEncouragement.com  


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Hal@Businessworks.US or 302.933.0116

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!” [Thomas Jefferson] 

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals. God Bless You.

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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Mar 05 2009

From “being in sales” to being GREAT in sales!

“Sales is a game of confidence,


skill, and will. The best sales


people I know have a huge ego. 


Those who are great, have


learned to control it.”


            When you hear an industry leader speak, you listen because that person already got to where you want to go and there’s a chance you’ll learn something, right?


“If you,” says Sales Industry Leader Doyle Slayton (originator of the headline for this post), “can control your ego, you are on your way to greatness in sales!”

Great! says you, so how do I do that?

     First, you accept the truth. You look in the mirror and acknowledge that your head is bigger than it looks! Next you take some deep breaths [Click “ARE YOU BREATHING? to check out your breathing. This 60-second 4-step technique has been called “the most important link in my life” by thousands of the world’s top salespeople!]

     Now, if you really did what the last paragraph suggested, and you actually “get it” and put it into daily practice, you probably don’t need to go any further because it can solve your big head problem all by itself! On the other hand, you might find that your big head is creating resistance. I mean we all like to grow, but who likes to shrink, right? So a couple more points may be in order . . .

     First and foremost, you may have heard others suggest politely to you what I am about to toss on your table: SHUT YOUR MOUTH! Not only do you not know it all, but, guess what? Your prospect doesn’t care. If you are not listening 80% of the time and talking 20%, you are not making the sales you deserve to make, and you’ll never be a sales professional.

     World renown sales guru Zig Ziglar www.ziglar.com tells us to “sell solutions” not products and services. How can you know what constitutes a “solution” to a prospect if you don’t shut up long enough to hear what the prospect thinks the problem is in the first place? Zig always said: “We’re not selling if we’re not talking (when we finally do talk after listening 80% of the time) with a major focus on value, advantages and benefits.”

     Well, that makes sense, doesn’t it? All customers (including each of us) are tuned to the WIIFM radio station: What’s In It For Me?

     If you’re not spending your energy to uncover what the prospect wants (instead of trying to impress the individual or group with how great you are) and to help the prospect understand clearly what the value, advantages and benefits are (instead of what you think he or she or they should think), you’re wasting your time.

     Every time a customer or prospect tells you a story doesn’t mean she/he wants to hear another story that you are reminded of. It means that the individual has started to relate to you as a person enough to share some incident.

     Take it as a compliment, listen even more attentively, keep your mouth shut about your great related experience, and instead shift the focus back to values, advantages and benefits. Don’t fast-talk and don’t wing it. Keep the size of your head in mind. Keep your mind here and now. Breathe. Sell.

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Make today a GREAT day for someone!

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance!”    [Thomas Jefferson]

Hal@Businessworks.US         931.854.0474

Guidance to 500+ Successful Business Startups

Creating Record-Sales for Clients Since 1981!

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals and God bless you!

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Dec 15 2008


Do you just turn on the


   faucet and ooze appeal?   


     I left a post at my Twitter friend Doyle Slayton’s excellent (and provocative) site for salespeople www.salesblogcast.com about the importance of empathy in sales. 

     We’ve discussed it here a few times, but the fact remains that too few of us go through our days without really stopping long enough to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. 

     So what, you say?  So this: When you can take the time and trouble (and it does take longer, and it can prompt considerable effort) to really try to understand and genuinely appreciate the circumstances of a prospect, you will be making more than one sale; you will be selling the dozens of others this one individual tells about your ability to be empathetic.

     The loyal customer you create may never actually use the word empathy to describe you.  How “nice” you were, or how”easy it was to talk” with you, or “how straightforward” or “down-to-earth” or “engaging” –even “charming”–  you were, may be the terms of choice.  But they add up to the same thing.

     How do you earn these credits?  Do you just turn on the faucet and ooze appeal?  Hardly.  Having others appreciate the way you deal with them and the sense of authenticity you put across, comes –no matter how instinctively pleasant you may be– from conscious preparation and hard work.

     It means that you are careful to exercise proactive listening skills, for example, to ask questions about what interests the other person and not you, for example . . . and listen carefully and attentively to the answers without interrupting, for yet another example. 

     The rule of thumb is to talk 20% of the time and listen 80% of the time.  A guideline that works equally well, by the way, in sales as well as relationships and, especially in dealing with children and aging parents. 

     Most nurses are exceptionally skilled at practicing empathy!

     In healthcare (where unfortunately many professionals flip the percentages and talk 80% of the time), it’s called having good bedside manners.  And how many people do you know who prefer to weigh bedside manners above even training and experience when it comes to choosing a doctor, dentist, nurse, physical therapist, occupational or speech therapist, psychotherapist, psychologist, or veterinarian?

     I’m not suggesting bedside manners should replace professional training and experience.  I am advocating that better healthcare results occur when good bedside manners can supplement good training and experience. 

     Isn’t it that you want these professionals to appreciate your unique circumstances so they understand and respect you as an individual vs. lumping you together with all other broken bones, teeth fillings, muscle weaknesses, swallowing problems, brain and emotional problems, and dog-parents? 

     It’s a pleasure to deal with bedside-mannered healthcare professionals, and courteous, respectful salespeople.  Genuineness as a human being is the secret ingredient.  halalpiar

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