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I read a good post the other day. Even though it’s an older post, it still stands true – Sales relationships are built on Trust. You can see the post here: Ethical Sales

Become a Relationship Builder: As a relationship builder, the salesperson should not focus on “closing” or using sales techniques that achieve “mini closes”. The salesperson should take an active interest in helping the client’s company improve its competitive advantage, becoming a trusted advisor and valued partner in the client’s business. In the relationship-builder role, the salesperson serves a universal need that never goes away—the client’s need to keep getting better at what they do. How do you do that? Begin by asking open-ended questions that when answered, reveal the prospect’s real needs.

Effective questioning is a critical selling skill for several reasons. First, our recent research shows that there is a direct correlation between the success of a sales call and the type of questions that the salesperson uses. On average, failed sales calls include 86% more close-ended questions than open-ended questions.

Second, your questions help customers make their first key buying decision, which is whether to buy you, the salesperson. Questions build rapport and demonstrate your interest in the customer. They uncover information about the customer’s needs, who to call on, the decision-making time frame, your competition and how the customer will make a decision. When you ask the “best” questions, customers will view you as a consultant with their best interests in mind.

Third, questions help you manage the sales call and help you differentiate yourself from competitors by being the best listener.

Side Note: As a web marketer and content provider, build trust by promoting other sites. For example: Industry related sites for sales and business professionals.

How to Maximize Sales

The economy has effected everyone. Today there is greater effort to maximize and increase sales, grow revenue and protect margins. The ten calls that once generated two customers have increased to twenty. Farmers must now become hunters.

When business or the economy is slow, sales reps needs to capitalize on a higher percentage of the opportunities that are available and they need to consistently gain commitment without reducing price. This takes a planned and precise approach to selling; an approach that can be customized for the organization and adopted by the entire sales force. Here is where Action Selling Sales Training can help. Have you read the Action Selling Sales Training Books? (http://www.actionselling.com/sales-books.asp?cpgn=829) If not, it will be one of the best investments you can make in your company.

Not only do company’s sometimes resort to new CRM software to maximize sales, but they also must teach their agents to sell differently. We like to say, “It’s not what you sell that matters. It’s how you sell it.”

Action Selling teaches how to approach every sales situation with a commitment objective, how to ask the best questions, how and when to utilize the five critical selling skills, how to protect margins, and how to consistently gain greater commitment. Action Selling is a Sales Process that outlines the entire sales cycle giving real estate agents, manufacturing reps, insurance agents, and virtually all sales professionals a proven procedure that works.

The Business Coach of Texas Advances New Partnership with Sales … PR Web press release | Job Training.

Dallas, TX (PRWEB) May 12, 2009 — The Business Coach of Texas (BCOT) announced today that it has entered into a distributor agreement with Minneapolis, Minn.-based Action Selling. BCOT is now accredited to provide Action Selling professional sales training, assessments and certification programs for its clients throughout Texas and the Southwest.

The Action Selling methodology has been successfully taught for more than two decades and has been implemented by more than 2,500 companies and 300,000 certified professional sales executives across the United States. The Action Selling-BCOT agreement is one of only a handful worldwide that allows for an independent, third-party company to provide this service on behalf of its clients and sales coaching partners.

Read the rest of this Press release.

Question:

I’m a salesperson in real estate. My company is carrying out some evaluation on presentation skills especially on our new estate project. I presented yesterday and it was rather awful. Please can you tell me how not to make the same mistake. The audience complained that I was unable to communicate properly and that I lacked good use of words especially catchy phrases that will make me get commitments easily especially now that we are selling an expensive product compared to our competitors. I’d really appreciate a response from you.
Thank you.

Answer:

I am not sure how much you know about Action Selling. The ability to make a solid presentation is one of the 5 Critical Selling Skills. My recommendation is to make presentations that focus on the expressed needs of the customer. Action Selling Sales Training, we teach a method called TFBR. T = Tie Back to a need that was expressed by the customer earlier in the sales call. F = present a Feature of your product that satisfies that need. B = present the Benefit of the feature (what the customer will gain by having this feature). R = ask a Reaction question to see how the customer perceives what you have presented.

By using the TFBR process, you make your sales presentation keep the customer involved in the communication process (Reaction). You present only the product capabilities (Features) that are most important to the customer (Tie Back to an expressed need). You show the customer why they will be better off with your product (Benefit). This presentation method will allow you to improve your communication skills because it focuses on satisfying the customer’s needs in a short but powerful presentation.

Here’s a sales management process that can be used to consistently gain commitment from customers.

If you have not read our sales training book, Action Selling, I highly recommend that you purchase it.

To Your Success

Question:
Which is the best way to sell customised computer software?

Answer:
I highly recommend that you use the Action Selling Process to sell anything. Custom software sales, like most B2B products, would have multiple milestones in the sales process. You would most likely have several buyer types to sell to as you proceed through the milestones of your sales process. All the more reason why you need a sales process that is designed to handle a complex selling situation with multiple milestones in the sales process. I recommend that you read Action Selling and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out. Both are available at http://www.ActionSelling.com. Thank you for your question.

Question:
How do you deal with the influence and power shift to purchasing agents? Even though you demonstrate bottomline impacts. Some companies have purchasing drive the decision progress.

Answer:
Very good question. When you are calling on any decision level, it is always important to determine that buyer’s personal needs. It may be that a purchasing agent is not as interested in “bottom line impacts” as another decision maker who is responsible for the bottom line. I have had experience with purchasing agents who value things like the flow of order processing over almost any other criteria. Why is this? Because you make their job easier and you make them look good because orders and delivery flow smoothly.

In addition, it is difficult (or nearly impossible) to sell value to buyers that cannot make decisions based on value. The mistake many sellers make is that they attempt to justify their price based on “bottom line impacts” when the buyer doesn’t have the authority to buy based on value. Assuming that your product cannot be sold at the lowest price, it is imperative to find areas where the buyer will perceive value. In your sales call, you need to ask questions and earn the right to ask more questions in order to have a shot at finding the value proposition that will be meaningful to this type of buyer.

Have you read my sales books? They all are intended to help sales people deal with this type of issue. You may access them at http://www.actionselling.com/sales-books.asp.

Thanks for your question and Good Action Selling!

Question:
Which question is most likely to provide the most valuable information from a buyer?

Answer:
This sounds like a question from our Benchmark Selling Skills Assessment. The most valuable information is obtained by asking Open-Ended Questions. These are questions that cannot be answered by a “yes” or a “no.” I have found that when salespeople become skillful at asking the best questions, they are able to effectively sell themselves. This is the first and most important sale that gets made. Once a customer has bought the salesperson, the remaining decisions are far easier to accomplish.

In my sales book, Questions: The Answer to Sales, You will learn about how to ask great questions and dramatically improve sales performance. If you have not read this book, it is available on the web site http://www.ActionSelling.com. Thank you for your question.

Good Action Selling.

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