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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Fear Is the Key (To Great Presentations)

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Presentation

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 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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Make Price a Non-Critical Issue

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Price Cut

Some salespeople will tell you that price is all-important and making it a non-critical issue is nigh-on impossible. Not so! I’m about to show you how you can make price a non-critical issue in any non-transactional sale.

Price is almost always a critical issue in a transactional sale. A transactional sale is one where the salesperson doesn’t have to do a lot of selling. This is because the prospect has usually decided what it is he or she wants to buy. Most commodity sales tend to be transactional in nature. In this type of sale, price is usually the key, if not overriding, factor. The farther away you move your product or service from being a commodity or transactional sale, the better your chances of minimizing the impact of price on the end result.

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The Myth of Multi-Tasking

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Multi-tasking

I always thought being great at multi-tasking was an essential part of being successful in sales. At a high level this is true – you have to be able to do a lot of different things and do most of them well to be successful.  The problem is, when trying to execute, doing different things and doing them well don’t usually go together, at least not at the same time.

There’s a book called The Myth of Multi-tasking I came across recently that talks about how you brain can’t physically do two things at the same time. Your body can, but what your brain is doing to make this happen is called ‘task switching.’  Every time you do something different (take notes while trying to pay attention to a presentation) your brain is switching tasks.

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Sales Coaching: Effective Feedback

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Sales Coaching

It amuses me that “coaching” has become a universal buzzword in the skills development lexicon over the last three or four years. It amuses me because coaching has been an integral part of our business process for twenty-six years. We realized back then that training without coaching produces minimal improvement at best, whereas training plus coaching produces a four-fold increase in new productivity according to a study conducted by the American Society for Training and Development.

Providing coaching feedback is not as easy as it might appear, though. The key to successful coaching is to provide feedback that preserves a person’s self esteem while motivating them to change and improve. You need to provide constructive feedback that praises and reinforces the person’s strengths, as well as identifies and rectifies their weaknesses.

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Negotiation: It’s Not Over Until It’s Over

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Negotiation

Ed. – Our first guest contributor this week is Jonathan Farrington, international business coach, consultant, author, and the founder and CEO of Top Sales World magazine. His work can be found in The Washington Post and The London Times and other high-profile publications, and he is consistently ranked amongst the global Top 20 influential sales and marketing experts. We’re privileged to offer some of his thoughts here at The HUB.

I understand and appreciate that many frontline sales professionals – and senior executives too, for that matter – are not comfortable negotiating. I enjoy it very much, and I have always particularly relished the final act, where things can get very tense.

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Sales Coaching: Motivating Your Sales Team

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Coaching

A good salesperson has experience. A great salesperson associates experience with technique, and that sets them apart from the competition. Nevertheless, salespeople are self confident and optimistic, as it should be for a good professional, but many believe they are in a better position than they actually are on their opportunities. The consequences of this are not consistent with accurate sales forecasts.

Few managers realize how much they are affected by their salespeople and neglect to coldly analyze every opportunity. This results in a strong dependence on a probability that has been poorly evaluated. Instead of coaching, managers form the “pressure habit” and believe this will improve the results.

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Inside Sales Power Tip 103 – Plan Everything

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Reach Goal

Ed – We’re excited to present our first article by Lori Richardson, founder and CEO of Score More Sales. Lori is a thought leader on B2B front-line sales growth and works with technology brands worldwide. She speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies, and authors an award-winning blog of her own.

A week ago I sat down with a sales professional who told me that when he started at a mid-market big data company in sales, he was given no guidelines, no leads, and very little guidance in getting started with his new sales territory.  He started just one year ago. Luckily he had industry connections and with little direction from his leadership, he made his own plan. He worked it, and has a year under his belt along with his first large deal.

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Selling Isn’t Telling – Part 3: High Impact Qualifying Questions

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Questions

In the first two articles of this three-part series, we discussed a “High Impact Qualifying” process to help you probe more effectively, and examined the key areas to qualify your opportunities in order to develop and deliver the right solutions.

In this article, we are going to look at my list of the Top 10 questions to use to help you gather more complete information in a shorter time.

1.  “Obviously you must have a good reason for saying that. Do you mind if I ask what it is?”

This is question can be used whenever you want the customer to be more specific, and reveal more information about their stance. For example, it can be used when, in response to an initial call to a new prospect, the prospect says: “I wouldn’t be interested.”

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