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How to Avoid Losing Customers

Everyone dreads calling a customer to say they can’t deliver what they want when they want. Who wants to deliver news like that? No one does, and that’s where the trouble really starts.  The worst mistake people make in business is not communicating the bad news. When you avoid the pain of giving someone a heads up about bad news, you create even more pain—for them and for you.  Here is what your customer may think when they find out you...
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The Surefire Way to Outsell Your Competition

When I wrote the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Great Customer Service, we interviewed people at companies with exemplary customer service. As a part of the process, I spoke with Hertz’s vice president of reservations in Oklahoma City, and he shared a story with me that I have not forgotten. Hertz did a survey of top renters and discovered that their number-one complaint was how long it took to return the car at the depot and then get to the gate....
myths

How False Assumptions Waste Time and Kill Deals

I had the joy of spending this past Father’s Day with my daughter, and at one point she told me about a difficulty one of her friends was experiencing. She wondered if I could help him with a deal he hadn’t been able to close. From the conversation with my daughter, I concluded that he had been rejected, but when I talked with her friend, he said he simply hadn’t heard back yet.  It doesn’t take much to make incorrect...
Using Pessimism to Sell More in Less Time

Using Pessimism to Sell More in Less Time

Pessimism tends to get a bad rap. In fact, top-producing sales execs exercise a fair degree of pessimism. It is the sales reps who are overly optimistic that often fall short of their goals. The sales execs who make pessimism work for them think about potential obstacles and then leave no stones unturned to make sure the final vote goes their way and they land the deal. Yes, you’re right: I always say that those who concentrate on a positive outcome...
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How to Sell Change and Grow Your Sales

If you want to influence others, gain new customers, or increase your sales to current customers, selling change is a key skill to master. The better you are at it, the more velocity you will gain in closing more sales—faster. Customers are often reluctant to make changes due to perceived risk. Whether you want someone to change vendors, increase their budget (change their perceived value), or change processes to bring in your product or service, you are asking them to...
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What It Takes to Close More Deals

The saying goes that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but that is simply not true—and science confirms it. According to recent neuroscience findings, the brain has a great degree of plasticity, which means it can be retrained. While it is easier to learn new things at a younger age, there is still sufficient plasticity for adults to acquire new skills and a new way of thinking. The only obstacle is our internal motivation to change things. The brain is made up of thousands of neurons,...
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How to Differentiate Yourself from the Competition

A client recently shared with me that they had conducted a sales presentation by using the process outlined in my book Lead, Sell or Get Out of the Way. Afterward, attendees said it was the best presentation they had ever been to. Talk about differentiating yourself. How did they do it? By engaging the participants and making it a genuine meeting rather than a show-and-tell of the seller’s capabilities. Instead of coming in with great slides and telling the attendees...
Past, Present, Future

One Simple Strategy for Turning Objections into Closed Deals

In sales, it’s not uncommon to face certain objections again and again. So how do you turn those common objections into closed deals?  Simple: You stop having conversations that are driven by past experiences or fear of the future. Let me explain. In 1980 I landed my first sales job: selling copy machines. But before long I began to believe I was limited by the features we offered. We had a great unit that produced 15 crisp copies per minute. My...
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The Power of Helping Clients Gain Momentum

This week I met Ashlin, a phlebotomist at my doctor’s office, and I’d like you to meet her too. As soon as I sat down for the blood draw, I was impressed with her attitude. She was both confident and caring, and I felt safe in her hands. When I complimented her, I asked what was important to her.  Her answer surprised me. She said if she leaves someone better off than when she met them, she did well. She...