Objections – No, They’re Not Great Buying Signals

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No matter how good you are at selling, objections will arise. Some occur because the customer needs something that you cannot provide. They want a 12-month service contract and your company only offers one for 6 months.

It is also true that some objections occur not because of what you are selling but because of how you are selling. For example, a great way to generate objections is to jump in and starting talking about a solution before you have a comprehensive understanding of the customer’s problems.

Have you heard that objections are good because they indicate buyer interest? This is an untruth floating around in the Sales world – objections are not buying signals. They are barriers, concerns, and problems that need to be prevented and/or handled skillfully.

So let’s take a look at three best practices for dealing with objections.

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Cold Calling in the 21st Century – A White Paper Review

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I recently ran across an interesting white paper that connected two articles that were previously published here on The HUB – Claire Waggoner’s “The Key to Sales Success: Pick Up the Phone” and my review of Jill Konrath’s e-book, Cracking the LinkedIn Sales Code. Gretchen Gordon of Braveheart Sales Performance is offering her paper, Cold Calling in the 21st Century, at their web site, and I found it informative and useful.

Notice I didn’t say comfortable. The reason for that is she touches on some particular issues of mine regarding cold calling, and forces me to acknowledge what I don’t want to – that full disclosure is not always the best tactic right out of the box when leaving a voicemail, and being persistent on a daily basis works.

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Developing an Edge

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Anthony Gaffney is a principal at Moorhouse, a consultancy specialising in business transformation and delivering commercial capability programmes. We are privileged to re-print this article from Winning Edge, the members magazine of the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management.

For organisations looking for the edge over their competitors, developing salesforce capability is a key weapon in the arsenal. If the requisite capabilities are developed effectively they can have a significant impact on results — from employee engagement right through to the bottom line. The question, then, is why don’t all organisations invest in sales capability development programmes?

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Improve Sales Training – Flip It

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Recently we came across an article about an innovation in our public schools that is getting a lot of buzz – Flipping.

The idea is simple: by using technology, students spend time at home getting up to speed on a given area of knowledge, then instead of lecturing from the front of the room, the teacher spends time in the classroom floating from table to table as the students work on exercises that apply the knowledge they studied before class.

The article took me back to when I was doing some research using Flander’s system of behavioral analysis for observing classroom instruction in public schools.  The major finding of which was that 70% of the teachers spent 70% of the time talking.  So given that population, there is indeed some time available to flip.

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Fear Is the Key (To Great Presentations)

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Steve Torjussen is Managing Director of Sales Training Stuff Ltd, a UK company specialising in sales, management and leadership training. He is author of an ebook, 101 Amazing, Top Hints, Tips and Techniques to Improve Your Presentations. We are privileged to re-print this article from Winning Edge magazine.

Have you always wanted to know the secrets of people who continually make powerful sales presentations, who are able to influence buyers and decision-makers positively, and who invariably win business from clients?

The ability to make effective sales presentations is a skill that’s crucial to your sales success. At the same time, 80% of the population fears public speaking. People say that, after spiders, presenting is the thing they fear most. Curiously, death is only seventh on the list, so it seems most people would rather die than stand up and make a presentation!

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Sales Simulations – Why Sales Reps Like Them

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Think back to the sales training programs you’ve attended. It’s likely that the great sales training programs had two characteristics in common – the same characteristics that have salespeople excited about sales simulations.

Realistic and Relevant. For a sales training program to be great, salespeople must have the opportunity to wrestle with the challenges they face every day. The program cannot be academic in tone or esoteric in content. That means salespeople must have the opportunity to develop account strategies, call on key decision makers, and handle tough objections. Today’s sales simulations deliver on that mandate better than any other type of program.

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Krypton Community College for Sales Business

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Business Education

There seems to be an interest in the Krypton Community College concept if our Google Analytics are to be believed. (I do believe them. I trust Google more than I do the U.S. Congress, but so do most others.) We got quite a lot of traffic on my article about applying the concept to a sales education, so I thought I would take it a bit further, see if I can milk the search terms for a few more hits.

In my previous articles on the value of education to a professional salesperson, I noted several intriguing issues, foremost amongst them was that many sales pros and employers thing higher education for sales people is a waste of time. While I don’t think it is a prerequisite for success, it is certainly an advantage. That is not a bold statement – I think an education is a advantage in any walk of life, even retirement.

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Sales Coaching: Time to Sharpen Your Ax

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Sharpen AX

As near as I can figure, salespeople only sell about 5% of the time!  Oh, we’re all busy doing things, but selling isn’t one of them. We visit customers, deliver literature, chat about the weather and sports, and talk about our weekend.

You’ll notice I’ve included myself in the above paragraph. Yes, I also find myself in this situation from time to time. It’s not that I’m lazy, or that I don’t want to do my job. Sometimes I simply lose my prime focus (selling), and I find a thousand other things to occupy my day. How about you?

Some salespeople are like papers in a light breeze. When they leave the office in the morning, they flutter off to wherever the first wind takes them.

Others have a great sense of direction and purpose. They know exactly where they’re going and what they’ll do when they get there. The only problem is that it often has little to do with their primary function — selling.

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Krypton Community College and a Degree in Sales

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I did an article some time ago on Sales Certification and what that might mean to a sales professional. And just the other day, I read in Seth Godin’s newsletter about a new project he is promoting – Krypton Community College. I put these two together in my head and guess what I came up with? Another topic for a HUB article!

It’s a little early to know what this KCC concept really is and if it will work, but it did get me to thinking about distance/e-learning and its application to the sales profession. Clearly, sales training is a huge e-learning business with hundreds of providers pushing every conceivable sales training technique and process and gimmick. But I’m not talking about training – I’m talking about education, and they are not the same thing.

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The 3 Main Reasons Most Sales Training Fails

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1) Theory and Role Play

Most sales training is filled with a lot of theory and good discussions around sales, but rarely provides any actionable insights or tools that we can apply immediately to our day-to-day lives that will make a difference. Role playing is used to try and simulate live customer engagements that aim at uncovering those insights and providing the tools.

However, they are rarely run effectively. They tend to paint one of two scenarios: 1) the perfect situation or 2) the most ridiculous situation possible. Neither of these are what we face on a day-to-day basis in our jobs.

The other problem with role playing is that the people brave enough to stand up and play the part are typically more worried about impressing their peers than they are about mastering whatever skills they are trying to learn.

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