Sales Tips for the Optimal Salesperson

This page is dedicated to helping you become the best salesperson you can be. These one minute sales tips will help make you more effective and earn more money. Each Tip is a single actionable nugget designed to move you toward effortless high performance … In short to become the Optimal Salesperson.

Manage activity not time

You can’t manage time. It moves at the same speed every day … every week every year. Everyone gets the exact same amount of it. But what you can manage is what you do during the time you have. Todays tip is a simple message:
•During “daylight hours” only do activities that will help achieve your sales goals. These include making sales calls, talking to prospects and customers, etc. these are what we call pay
time activities, things that actually generate revenue.
•Once that is done then do other things like proposals, update CRM’s etc.
•If time is short move the non-pay time activities to the evening or weekend.
It is as simple as that. In short, don’t manage the time … you can’t. Manage what you do within the time you have to maximize those activities which yield revenue for you and your company.

If you have a sales question you would like to discuss follow the link to schedule a call:
https://calendly.com/dancaramanico/callwithdan

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Prospect’s Perspective

The ability to view the sales opportunity from the prospect’s perspective is a valuable skill. If all you ever do is look at things through your eyes you risk missing valuable insights, possibly waste valuable time, and lower your win probability. An example will illustrate what I mean. If you are selling a software project to a Chief Financial Officer, you might think that it makes a lot of sense to move forward quickly. The company obviously needs the new software desperately, it will have a great return on investment and the timing seems perfect to get it in right before the end of the year. However, if you look at it from the prospect’s perspective you might think to ask a few more questions. For example, the ROI is good, but CFO’s have many projects presented with great ROI’s and a limited amount of money to invest. Seeing it from her perspective you might then say, “I assume you have lots of projects with great ROI’s, Where does this one stack up against all of those”. CFO’s also get involved with acquisitions and other events which could get in the way so thinking like she might you would ask, “are there any financing events that could get in the way of moving forward with this project”? These are simple examples but once you start thinking that way, questions you never thought of before will pop into your head. Just be sure you are not engaging in customer empathy which is similar but will lead you to accepting every excuse they give you for not moving forward.

If you have a sales question you would like to discuss follow the link to schedule a call:
https://calendly.com/dancaramanico/callwithdan

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Problem Seeker not Problem Solver

Problem solving can derail a sales call. Many salespeople have a problem-solving instinct. Maybe its because they have a technical background and they were trained that way. Or maybe it is because they believe that showing how smart they are is a good way to impress the client and give them a better chance of winning the project. The truth is that solving problems too early in the sales process serves to halt all progress toward finding the pain of the prospect. When you are in problem solving mode, you are stuck in and intellectual process and you are focusing on the problem and not on the prospect and how the problem affects him or her. This is to say nothing of the fact that solving the problem serves to give away intellectual property and cedes any competitive advantage you might have had to the prospect. Instead of solving the problem, delve into the problem and its many nuances. How does it affect the prospect? How does it affect profitability? Who else does it affect? Has happened before? Who cares about the solution? Asking any or all of these questions will do more to enhance your credibility and move the sales process along than spending time solving the problem on the sales call. Isn’t that what they should be paying you for?

If you have a sales question you would like to discuss follow the link to schedule a call:
https://calendly.com/dancaramanico/callwithdan

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Competitive Advantage

Just because you have something the competitor does not have or do something the competitor does not do, does not mean that you have a competitive advantage over that competitor. The prospect actually has to care about that thing you have for it to give you an advantage. Some prospects may even see the extra thing as a disadvantage if they perceive that they are paying for something that they do not need. For example, a car with extra gadgetry may just have 1 more thing that could break down in the buyer’s eyes. For a feature to yield a competitive advantage it must have three elements. The competitor must not have it (or a reasonable facsimile); the prospect must care about the feature or its benefit, and the prospect must have the authority or influence to purchase the product. And this does not even include the fact of whether they have the money to buy or believe the feature is worth the cost. If you are missing any of those elements, then there is no competitive advantage.

If you have a sales question you would like to discuss follow the link to schedule a call:
https://calendly.com/dancaramanico/callwithdan

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Jump-start your Pipeline

When you are in a slump you need a jolt of energy to get you going. When your car battery dies, you jump start it to get it going. You hook up another battery and give your battery a short term jolt of new energy which causes your engine to start and run smoothly. That recharges your battery and you can operate your car normally. Mimic that with your sales activity. If you are in a slump, for a few days ramp up your sales activity. If you were talking to 3 people a day in the prior few weeks, do 6 a day for 3 days and see what happens. If you are like most people, good things will begin to happen and you can scale back to your normal activity. Look, it is simple math. In the short term the market won’t change and your sales skills won’t change so doubling your sales activity will double the results you get. So the moral of this story is to treat your sales career at least as well as you treat your car. If your car battery dies you don’t just let it sit there. You give it a fresh jolt of energy to get it going. You should do the same for your sales career.

If you have a sales question you would like to discuss follow the link to schedule a call:
https://calendly.com/dancaramanico/callwithdan

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How to deal with prospect telling you they don’t know how much money they can spend

The prospect has at least some idea of what they can spend for your product or service … always. Here is an all too familiar scenario. You ask, “what is the budget for this product”. The prospect says, “I don’t know”. You write that down and continue on with the call feeling that you have asked the budget question and gotten no answer as per usual … you did your job. You report that to your sale manager. He shrugs and you go about writing a quote which you lose because your price was way too high. The problem is that your mindset is all wrong and so is your manager’s. You must believe that they know how much they can spend. They know, at least they know within a certain tolerance. And if they do not know how much they can spend, they know how much they can’t spend. If you have that mindset firmly implanted in your belief system, you will be able to continue the conversation and come out with at least some idea of the amount they are willing to spend to fix the problem you are discussing. With this empowering belief system in mind, you could always say, “well for this project it should be between $4,000 and $5,000. Will that be a problem do you think?” Or you could throw out a high number like, “George, I don see why for this project it should be more than $9,000”. I promise you will get a reaction and you can take the conversation from there. If you are a salesperson change your mindset and you will change the results you get. If you are a sales manager, change what you are willing to accept and you will help grow your sales team and your bottom line.

If you have a sales question you would like to discuss follow the link to schedule a call:
https://calendly.com/dancaramanico/callwithdan

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Understand the environment your prospect lives in

The prospect’s environment will affect how the prospect will react to an issue or a problem and hence be an important factor in understanding the pain and the compelling reason to buy. I had a car one time that was getting old. It still had useful life but maybe only about 2 to 3 more years. It was a VW bug. It broke down from time to time but nothing major. My wife drove it 10 miles to work every day. The issues with the car were not enough to make me do anything about buying a new car. Then one day the battery died while I was out running an errand. I bought a new car within a week. Why did I do that? The car still had useful life. To the casual observer nothing much had changed. A battery is not a major expense and a new one made the car more reliable. The answer is that my environment changed. About 6 weeks prior to the battery dying, we discovered that my wife was pregnant with our first (and as it turned out only) child. That changed how I reacted to a problem. Six weeks prior I would have viewed the dead battery as an isolated incident which Marie could have handled as well as I did. Now I viewed it as indicative of problems that could occur with Marie and a baby in the car and I could just see them stranded somewhere. Since my environment changed, how I reacted changed, and my motivation to buy changed. This will be true in every case. Understand your prospect’s environment and you will understand better how and why they will react (the pain) to the situation you are discussing.

If you have a sales question you would like to discuss follow the link to schedule a call:
https://calendly.com/dancaramanico/callwithdan

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Question to Ask “What do you attribute that to”

If you want insight into the thought process of the prospect, then ask them “What do you attribute that to”. Or you can ask “What, in your mind, caused that”. You would ask this question when they told you about a situation or problem they are facing. The normal course of action would be to say, “tell me more about that”. Or maybe to ask another question delving into the details of the problem. The value of asking “what caused that” is that it gives you an idea about what the prospect thinks the real problem is. It might also give you a clue as to how to solve the problem. But the real value is in giving you more information about how the prospect thinks and what the real pain is. You can always go back and get more details about the problem with follow up questions.

If you have a sales question you would like to discuss follow the link to schedule a call:
https://calendly.com/dancaramanico/callwithdan

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Your value is in the questions you ask

You, as a sales professional, bring value to your prospect by the questions you ask. Twenty years ago, it was the information you were able to provide but that is not true any longer. They can get most of that online or in the cloud. Some say it is the expertise that you bring. But the real value you bring is in the questions you are able to ask that make the prospect think. If you can draw on you knowledge and experience to ask questions that bring a different perspective or challenge the traditional thinking or shed a new light on the problem, then you demonstrate real value to the prospect. You become a resource to the prospect that they can go to when they are stuck or when they want to be sure they have “thought of everything”. If you can ask those kinds of questions, then you will have a conversation with the prospect that your competitors never have. That in itself will distinguish you from the competition more than any information you can impart. If you can draw on your knowledge to ask the good hard tough questions then you will have the conversation with the prospect that they need to have and that will demonstrate your value put you ahead of the competition.

If you have a sales question you would like to discuss follow the link to schedule a call:
https://calendly.com/dancaramanico/callwithdan

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Don’t Pounce

Predators pounce on their prey. They lie in and wait for the prey to come by, then pounce on them and have their way. Obviously, the prey tries to escape the clutches of the enemy. That is what it feels like to a prospect when you leap in with a solution at the first mention of a problem. Leaping in with a solution is what I call “pouncing”. Even if the prospect does not instinctively recoil, you will lose control of the conversation. Oh, you may think you have control because you will be talking. You will be explaining your solution and answering questions. But all further progress toward uncovering the prospects pain and compelling reason to buy will come to an abrupt halt. The prospect will have a solution (or at least an approach to consider) and you, the salesperson, have nothing and have lost control of the conversation. The better approach is to acknowledge the issue and ask for the prospect to elaborate and give you more detail. At the appropriate time you can propose a solution. By that time, you will have uncovered the compelling reason to buy and otherwise properly qualified the prospect.

If you have a sales question you would like to discuss follow the link to schedule a call:
https://calendly.com/dancaramanico/callwithdan

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