Build Money Discussion Confidence for Selling Value

Build Money Discussion Confidence for Selling Value

Can salespeople, especially those money-motivated folks who work on commission, be uncomfortable discussing money? Who would think it possible? Well, the truth is that more than a majority of all salespeople, across all types of sales roles and from nearly every part of the globe, are not comfortable discussing money. And roughly the same percentage of the selling population have difficulty selling value.

Hard to believe? The Objective Management Group’s data on about 687,000 salespeople is proof. It shows that 60% are not comfortable discussing money and 60% are not competent selling value. It’s certainly a large percentage of the selling […]

Consultative Selling Requires This Critical Skill

When one loves to explore data and has access to a huge database of salespeople over 685,000 strong, what happens? Well, for me, I can’t help myself. I frequently analyze elements from that database. Recently, I went mining for insights on consultative selling.

I discovered something that somewhat surprised me, but upon reflection makes sense. Two-thirds (or 68% to be exact) of the top 10% of salespeople in this database are proficient at the competency of staying in the moment. And conversely, 64% of all salespeople lack proficiency in this competency which is critical to success in consultative selling.

Here’s why my […]

The Harder the Questions; The Easier the Sale

The Harder the Questions; The Easier the Sale

Have you ever left a sales appointment and wished you had said something else? Or have you ever debriefed a sales rep’s call and find they didn’t ask the next logical question, and now critical information is missing?

Unfortunately, it’s a common problem. Most salespeople don’t ask enough questions.

Let’s examine some statistics. Only 11%* of salespeople ask the next, most important question when necessary. Further, the typical questions most salespeople ask are garden-variety ones; surface questions that are easily answered. Salespeople tend to accept too much at face value.

When the prospect says something like “This sounds great. Send me a proposal […]

Get Your Salespeople to Shut Up and Listen

Okay everyone knows that to be an effective salesperson one needs to listen to the prospects and clients. So, we all know that, then why is it so difficult to get your salespeople to do it? I have recently noticed that many of the salespeople in my client companies are very seasoned and have been doing their job for many years. They are very experienced, and some are even considered experts in their field. I have discovered that there is frequently an inverse relationship between the experience level of the salesperson or new business developer and the listening they do […]

Outcome Goals vs. Activity Goals

Sure we all know that the scorecard for sales reps is their closed business.  But, if we only focus on this “outcome” goal we may be putting too much pressure on the sales reps to perform and may actually reduce their likelihood of success.


Here’s what I mean.  We all know that our team and each individual needs to hit his or her sales goal.  However, they have absolutely no control over whether or not the prospect will actually buy anything, let alone anything from them.  When we, as managers, constantly harp on the end game, the closed business goal, without […]

Do Your Salespeople Use Proposals to Avoid Negotiations?

In some of my recent articles I have discussed the merits surrounding getting salespeople to hold off on producing proposals until the prospect is fully qualified.  I have observed that many salespeople produce proposals because they are not skilled negotiators and they somehow think that if they put the information in writing the prospect will buy.  The truth is that the proposal should really be a confirmation of what has already been agreed to, or has been determined that the prospect wants, needs and is interested in buying.  Unfortunately, salespeople frequently rush in before these factors are understood.


The skilled negotiator […]

Do Your Salespeople Rush to Provide Proposals?

Frequently salespeople are all too happy to produce proposals for anyone who is interested.  It is common that those same salespeople are avoiding truly qualifying prospects before producing the proposal.  It has become apparent to me through years of working with sales teams that much of this behavior is due to the belief that if they just put the information in writing they will avoid having to explain or address any concerns a prospect might have.  It is really a form of conflict avoidance.

Unfortunately, we allow salespeople to spend time producing pages and pages of proposals without truly understanding whether […]

The Scary Math Associated with Producing Unqualified Proposals

In my last article, Reduce the Fluffy Pipeline Syndrome, I wrote about the time, effort and money associated with salespeople producing unqualified proposals.  If you are having difficulty breaking your salespeoples’ habit of producing unqualified proposals get them to do the math associated with their lost income as follows:

1. Calculate the per hour rate of pay (based on last year’s total compensation divided by 52, divided by 40).

2. Calculate how long it takes to produce one proposal on average (1 hour, 2 hours?).

3. Then add in the number of hours spent trying to chase the prospect down after sending the […]