Don’t let what you think you know …

Don’t let what you think you know get in the way of what you need to find out. Long experience in an industry or with a product can work against you sometimes. If you have been around for a while you think you have heard it all. You the prospect starts to tell you the problem or challenge they are facing, and you immediately think “OK I know their problem, I know where this is going”, and you stop listening and start thinking of how you are going to move the sales process forward. You may have seen this problem before, but what you need to find out is how this problem is affecting this prospect from his perspective, not yours or your last customer’s. Salespeople must have the humility to truly listen to the prospect and appreciate that, although the problem may look the same as other similar situations faced in the past, this prospect’s situation and how this prospect views the problem is most likely different. Don’t problem solve while they are talking, don’t interrupt the flow of information they are giving you. Do probe a little deeper and you will uncover the nuances that exist in this situation. Bonding between you and the prospect will increase which will lead them to open up and give you more detail about the issue. You will have a better understanding of the compelling reason to buy and you just may have learned the bit of intelligence that will give you the inside track on closing this deal.

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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Value varies over time

Your product or service has value to the prospect to the extent that it solves a problem or pain that the prospect is currently experiencing. That pain will vary over time so the length of the sales cycle of your product’s perceived value will also vary. Here are two simple examples, one for a short sales cycle and one for a long sales cycle. If I am in my auto mechanics shop and he tells me he is having a special sale this week of half off on transmission repair, I will not care very much about that if my car has been running smoothly over the last few months. Since I am not in pain I will say something like “Thanks, Fred but I am good for now.” However, if a month later my car gets stuck in park and I need to have it towed to Fred’s shop to get the transmission fixed, his service has much more value to me and I won’t be worrying about the price he will charge. At the beginning of longer cycle projects, the prospect has certain issues and questions. Your expertise will have a certain value. But over the course of 18-month sales cycle the prospect becomes more knowledgeable, the economy will change, the industry might change, and the project requirements will change. Hence the pain at the end of the cycle will be different than it was at the beginning. The optimal salesperson will stay in touch with the changes in the pain over the length of the sales cycle. This is especially true at the end of the cycle when they may change rapidly.

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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Close for the decision the prospect can make

I don’t believe in that sales axiom “always be closing”. That strategy annoys the prospect and , makes them want to avoid you. However, I do believe that every prospect in virtually every meeting is closeable. You may not be able to get the prospect to buy or to give you a purchase order at every meeting, but you can get a decision at every meeting. Sometimes you close for the next meeting, sometimes you close for the ability to keep them on your marketing list, sometimes you close to get taken to the boss, and sometimes you close to get the prospect to recommend your product even though you can’t get to see the boss or the committee. There are many other variations. All you have to do is get the prospect to tell you what the decision process is and what he or she is both willing and able to make. The key is that they must be both willing and able to make a decision. No matter how small the next step is, close for that and you will keep the process moving. A small step forward is preferable to leaving and waiting for something to happen at some future date. So, how do you know what the prospect is both willing and able to make? You just ask. It’s that simple but many salespeople don’t do it.

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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Selling to Millennial’s

Much has been said and written about millennial’s and how to deal with them. Most of it is probably valid. But selling to them is no different. The process is the same. Find their compelling reason to buy, talk about the money they want to spend to fix the problem and then understand their decision process. The answers to your questions may be different for a millennial than for a baby boomer but the process is the same. Don’t worry about what generation your prospect is in, just follow your sales process. The meetings may be different and the motivations to buy may be different but not the sales process you use to get them to buy.

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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Best question to ask at a Networking Meeting

The best way to break the ice with a new contact at a networking meeting is to ask a question. But what question should you ask? It becomes obvious when you understand two facts. The first is that most people go to networking meetings to meet new people and they struggle with how to break the ice. The second fact you have to know is that most people are me-centered in their approach. That is, they come to the meeting hoping to tell their story to someone in hopes of attracting some interest. Knowing those two facts makes it is obvious that the best question to ask is “So George, what do you do?” When you ask them that gives your new contact a chance to talk about themselves, their favorite subject. You will have earned some gratitude from them and the new relationship is off to a good start. As you listen to them talk you can be listening for some pain that they might have and that will lead you to more questions and you will either quickly determine that they are worthwhile pursuing or not. And when it is your turn to talk, you can focus on the areas of need that they have exposed.

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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Kick start next year this month

The best time to kick start next year is December of this year. This month most salespeople are either struggling to hit their number for this year or coasting to the end of the year. Then the holidays hit, and the next thing they know it is January 2nd . Then they get started setting goals and trying to figure out how to hit this year’s number. Before they know it, February is here and 8.3% of the year and one third of the first quarter are gone. The best way to fast track next year is to get started now. Set your goals for next year and get yourself committed to achieving them. Develop your sales activity plan. Review your wins and losses from this year and compile your list of lessons learned and adjust your approach accordingly. If you do all of this before you shut it down for the holidays, you will be ready to jump right in when the calendar flips over and the new year starts. You can start making progress toward achieving your goals on January 2nd instead of February 1st. You will be way ahead of your competition and you will not be playing catch up all year. Make an early new year’s resolution “Next year starts NOW!”

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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You are what you believe you are

If you believe you can, or you believe you can’t … you are more than likely correct. To increase your chance of success, change your belief about what is possible, then do the work to achieve the goal. Here is a sample of beliefs you can change:
• Believe you can and should call on the CEO and you will be more likely to be successful when you do it
• Believe you are worth 25% more than you are currently charging, and you will get it when you ask for it
• Believe you can close bigger deals and you will act differently when bigger deals show up in your pipeline
• Believe you are worthy of bigger deals and more of them will come your way (you must look for them of course)
• Believe that people should trust you and they will (you must act in a trustworthy manner of course)
The list is endless, but you get the idea. There are physical limitations to this process ( you can’t believe your way to being 6 inches taller) but there are no emotional limitations.

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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Holidays are a great time to sell

“You can’t sell over the holidays.” “Nothing happens this time of year.” Etc. Etc., I hear this every year. It’s an excuse and a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you believe that this is true, you don’t work as hard and low and behold, nothing gets sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas. But I believe the opposite. People are nicer this time of year. Business people try to avoid travelling so they are at home for family events. There are many parties which are great networking events. But most of all it is your mindset that matters. So reset your beliefs and get out there and do the sales activity and follow your sales process and see what happens. At the worst you will set things up to get next year off to a great start.

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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Ask How

“How did this problem occur?” is a powerful question. It helps you get more context around the problem. It may give you clues as to what the solution is. It demonstrates that you know what you are taking about (actually not talking about). Likewise, the question “how do you make decisions?” gives great insight into the steps the prospect has to take to make a decision. Many salespeople ignore the all-important “how” questions and therefore miss a great opportunity to get the best information they can get. The added value of the question is that asking how something happened gets you more information and keeps you from talking for a while. It is very important to know what the problem is but knowing how it affects the organization or the person you are talking to is much more important. So don’t forget to ask “how” questions, it will keep you out of a lot of trouble.

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 overwhelm the prospect

Be careful of how much information you give the prospect. If they become overwhelmed, they will stop listening and find a quick way to disengage from the conversation. You need the prospect to feel comfortable during your call. An over-energetic personality can unnerve the prospect. Too much information will confuse them. Having too much experience, education or background in the industry can intimidate the prospect. Being unnerved, confused or intimidated are not comfortable feelings for the prospect and they will try to get out from under that feeling. Since you are the cause of that feeling, they will politely end the meeting or stop listening or try to put you on the defensive with lots of demands or tough questions. So the lesson for today is watch how much information you give out and look for signs that the prospect is being overwhelmed. If you sense that they are, then just back off.

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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