There’s Always Something to Learn in Selling

No matter how long I’ve been training and coaching salespeople, it really frustrates me when people feel they know all there is to know and they believe there is nothing they can learn which will improve them. Often, the longer someone has been selling, the more likely they are to think this way.  In my experience this thought process is limiting (and, dare I say it, typically those who feel they know it all have the most to learn!)

thinkingIrrespective how long we’ve been selling and how much we may know already there is always something that we can get from listening to a speaker, attending a good training session and/or from reading a sales book.

Typically there are 3 types of learning and knowledge that we can experience:

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The Unlikely Salesperson Who Taught Me How to be More Successful

It’s true that salespeople come in all shapes and sizes. There is no such thing as a mould that successful sales people are cast from.

odd one out imageThis has never been more apparent than when I joined a company that was hiring a team of regional sales people. Amongst the new recruits was Mark, a guy who was very quiet, very studious and if anything I have to describe him as rather ‘cold’ and indifferent.  The traditional attributes of a salesperson, i.e. outgoing, extrovert, confident, just didn’t apply to Mark. Everybody who met him said that he had no chance of succeeding.

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The Only Reason Why a Sales Contact Should Occur

proactiveWhy should we carry out a sales activity?  The only reason a sales contact activity should take place (whether it be via a face-to-face visit, phone call, email, etc…) is to effect progress.  Progress that is in terms of:

  • Creating an opportunity and starting a sales conversation
  • Moving a sales conversation along
  • Bringing a sales conversation to a close
  • Developing and building a relationship

When you’re planning your selling day and thinking about what you can do, if the result of a contact activity is likely to be that things will be as they were before you made it then you either need to change your objective for the activity, or do something else.

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The Importance of Goal Setting to Ensure You Succeed

fantasyMany surveys have been conducted into goal setting and is widely cited that less than 5% of the human race know how to set goals.  It is also claimed that less than 5% of us actually have goals and whilst that figure may seem somewhat ridiculous the figure is based on the difference between goals and fantasies.  Ask practically anyone what they want and they can reel off a list of possessions such as; the big house, the fancy car, the perfect holiday, winning the lottery, etc…  These aren’t goals though, merely day dreams, merely fantasies and virtually everyone has fantasies.


A fantasy is something where we envisage a final outcome, i.e. having the big house, being on the perfect holiday, driving the perfect car, etc… yet give no real thought about how we get there from where we currently are.  On the other hand a goal is something that an individual commits to achieving.  It is something where there is a plan, a series of steps and actions that an individual will undertake to perform and keep on progressing, moving forward as they do until achieving their desired outcome.  It is something where an individual commits themselves to taking persistent action, on a daily basis and where they will keep going, irrespective how difficult or far away their desired achievement may be.  A goal is something that people commit to achieving which, when their plan is not getting them where they want to be they will evaluate, make decisions and changes for and then continue forward with action.  A goal is something where people will press onwards irrespective whatever of the amount of difficulty or challenge that they will face.

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The Meaning of Our Crest – The Banner We Ride Into Modern Day Selling Battles With

crest PNG imageEver since I was a child I have been fascinated by heraldry; castles and coats of arms have always done it for me. As such when I decided to start my own business our logo was always going to have to be a crest.  As with the heraldic families of medieval Europe the crest identifies us and tells everyone who sees it the story of who we are.


As such it is made up of a series of components that identify a number of the traits of successful and professional salespeople. I used them to always remind me of traits that are important to succeed in selling and to be the best that I can be:


lionThe lion symbolises being brave, that a salesperson needs to put themselves forward in order to succeed and reminds us to act with courage, to not let doubt and fear stop us.


oxThe oxen signifies strength and the need to keep going, even when the going gets tough, to never give up and remain stoic in the face of adversity and challenge.

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The Issue With Budget Quotes and Why Most Salespeople Are Only Fooling Themselves by Issuing Them!

win-loseI was recently working with a capital equipment company whose salesperson had told them they had lost an order against a lesser quality competitor as the company’s quote had been “too expensive” and “too long a delivery”. On looking into the project though and having seen that they had raised a budget quote, I shared with them the reasons why I think too often budget quotes are a waste of a salesperson’s time despite a prospect asking for one:


1.  Often they are given after a prospect tells a salesperson to give them a ‘ball-park’ price before we can get into any detailed discussions. On the basis we have had no clear understanding of the prospect’s current status, their needs and what they want to achieve and as such we are really in the realms of ‘hit and hope’. Anything we may state here often has to go with the caveat that our offer remains open to change – which means it isn’t really our offer (and neither will the prospect consider it to be so – they will just dismiss it as meaning nothing as they know we won’t stand behind it (and nor can we)). Worse still, as a conversation develops and the need becomes clearer, the prospect will baulk every time our price increases from what they were first told in the budget quote (as often even our best guesstimate won’t cover necessary items that may have to be added later). Invariably we couldn’t possibly know about them at the time of putting the budget together – how could we when we haven’t looked at the opportunity properly?)

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Virtual Reality – The Art of Pitching and Presenting So Your customer Gets It

microsoft-legendary-youtube-screenshotI’ve just been reading an article about Microsoft’s HoloLens hologram headset technology that permits users to see virtual reality and I found myself thinking about how many salespeople could do with something similar to help them present and demonstrate their products and services to their customers and prospects alike.

The technology is amazing … I imagine it will require certain hardware and software though as well as the obvious headset and for some salespeople and some companies, particularly small businesses and new start-ups that may be out of reach, at least for now.  The good news is though that you can do this anyway and, in truth salespeople should be doing this all of the time when they are presenting or pitching.

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