Probing Questions: The Directions To Closing A Sale

Probing questions are like the traffic signs that point you in the direction from your introduction and presentation to your close. The most important part is learning what type of questions to ask and what relevant questions to ask.

Probing Questions

Open-Ended Questions (The Blabbering Questions)

I call open-ended questions the Blabbering question because these are the type of questions that you use to get your prospect to blab and be open. This type of question begs for an answer to be creative long-winded and informative. When you use open-ended questions you must pay attention to every word along with their body language. Most prospects will give what is called a Freudian slip and drop clues that you can use in your close. A Freudian slip is like a subconscious line that they most likely didn’t intentionally want to say but it just slipped out. These slips are generally something they might be holding back behind their buyer resistance since most people don’t want to be sold they want to be bought.
Overall open-ended questions require a long explanation and are a great way to show you are interested in the actual person you are talking to. Never answer for the prospect or make suggestions when you ask open-ended questions.
Examples of Open-Ended Question:
What do you think of the President of the United States?
How do you feel about your new job?

Questioning

Loaded Questions (Tell me what I want to hear Question)

Loaded question are questions that you ask that lead your customer to answer in a certain way. These type of questions are used to force a judgment on something. Depending on the person but in my opinion I stay away from the negative type of loaded questions but I have seen people be effective using loaded question with a negative tone. Loaded questions cause your customer to think in the tone you put the question in. For instance, if you ask “What are some of the bad experiences you had while using your current service? Although it causes your prospect to think in a negative way about their current service which can lead them to choose your service I personally don’t like to bring up any type of negativity on my own.
Examples Of loaded Questions:
How are you getting on with your new services?
Did you have a good day today?

Probing Questions

Recall Questions (Wake Up And Think Questions)

I like these type of questions since it gets your prospect to snap out of complacency and think a little. So if you ever feel like you are losing your customer and you need to bring them back into the conversation ask a recall question and get their brain off idle. Make sure you ask a relevant question because a question that is irrelevant might have them answer with a nonsense answer. So A recall question is having someone to stop and think of the answer that is coming from their memory. It can be easy as asking what is the spelling of their last name or it can be more thought-provoking as How did you handle the responsibility of becoming an adult?

Rhetorical Questions

Rhetorical Questions (Thought Provoking Question)

I know everyone has heard of rhetorical questions but they are mainly used to provoke thought in someone’s mind but not requiring an answer. Most of the time this question doesn’t require an answer since it is probably answered that has been established and would probably seem silly to answer. This question is just made to place an idea in your prospects head. These are used often while public speaking but can be used in a more personal setting a just triggering a nod of the head.
Examples of Rhetorical Questions
You are going to have to drive your car home right?
Could you imagine that your family will be so happy when you bring this new car home?

Close-Ended Questions (Tie Down Questions)

These questions are restrictive questions that only require a word or possibly a phrase. Generally, the answer is in the form of a “Yes” or “No”. These questions are my favorite because they get your customer to agree with you when asked in the form of having a “Yes” response. These questions can create a “Yes” momentum. Which it is said the more “Yes’s” you get your customer to say the more likely will get a “Yes” response when you ask for the sale. These are great and should be used all the time throughout your entire presentation.
Examples of Close-Ended Questions
You are a homeowner correct?
Do you agree that green is your favorite color?

Funneling

Funneling Questions (Leading Down The Rabbit Hole Questions)

These are a set of questions that are becoming more restricted after each question leading the customer to a direction you want to go. It also can be used the opposite way starting closed-ended and working up to an open-ended question. When starting with a close-ended question and working your way up can be generally used when you first meet someone. This form of questioning tends to relax the customer upon your initial meet. When the questioning goes from open to restricting is generally used to close or tie down your customer.
Examples of funneling Questions
Tell me about your current cable service provider?
What are your favorite cable channels?
Do you usually watch your cable in the evening or afternoon?
Would it be beneficial to get all of your favorite channels plus the ones you want but don’t have for a lower price than you are paying now?

Alternate Choice Questions (Either-Or Questions)

Alternate choice questions are leading questions when you give you customer two options. These are generally used during the close of a sale. You are giving the option between a positive and a positive. Meaning you are not asking if they want your product in the form of getting a “Yes” or “No” answer. You are asking a question in the form of getting a “Yes” or “Yes” Never create an alternate choice question that will lead to a “No”.
Examples of alternate choice questions
Would you want to get this shirt in red or would you prefer black?
When will it be best for us to come tomorrow mornings or afternoons?

In Conclusion: Probing Questions

These 6 types of probing questions are used to extract information so you can get a better idea of what your prospect wants or needs. so you as a professional can give a valued recommendation. Structure your presentation accordingly so that you are not wasting your prospects time and asking random questions but you are asking questions that will lead to helping your customer get exactly what will make them happy. Has any of these questions led you to achieve more sales? If so, How?

Have You Ever Wished You Knew All The Telemarketing Secrets?

Telemarketing secrets sometimes might seem to be hidden from everyone. What I mean is sometimes you see others being successful in telemarketing sales while others may not be in on the secrets to be successful. Well, let me let you in on the secrets you may not have heard of.

Telemarketing secrets

Develop A Script

You should always have a script. Decide what is your goal? what do you plan to achieve when making you call? If your objective is to get an appointment then script your call to get that appointment. If your objective is to get a sale via the telephone then focus your script around getting the sale. Let’s break this down for getting a sale via the phone. This is an outline for your script

  1. Introduction should have a polite greeting. I recommend never to ask “How are you doing?” Or if you use that phrase or something similar don’t wait for an answer because asking that question can lead to a negative response.
  2. The next part should contain who are you? and who are you with?
  3. This should be why are you calling? also with a hook to break pre-occupation for example ….I am not calling to waste your time so I won’t take to much of it. All I want to do show you how many homeowners just like you have been able to reduce their monthly mortgage by 20%. I am not going to try to sell you anything you make the decision and you tell me which one of these packages would work best for your situation. Okay, fair?
  4. Pre-planned close should be prepared and said once you have laid out the entire presentation
    Never make any calls without a script. A script is there to keep you on track since in real life situations there are always distractions. A script will keep you on topic and in place whenever a distraction occurs. Generally, a script will lead to common objections and if you receive the same type of objections you can learn how to overcome them quicker

What Gets Measured Gets Improved

measured

Write down your goals to work off. For example, if you plan on working 8 hours. How many calls are you going to do within each hour? if you do 20 calls in an hour that means you will do 160 calls in a day. How many sales do you plan to make? What are the averages for your business? Whatever your numbers stick to those numbers. If your goal is to make 160 in a day, plan to do whatever it takes to hit that number. If you average 6 closes per 160 calls you can estimate your commissions and have a clear idea what your income will be. Once you start getting solid data on your activity to figure out the hours that you are most productive. Put most of your effort during those hours. If you come to find out there is a particular hour that you don’t have any production you might want to adjust your schedule but moving that work hour to another hour that you have might have better results. So, in essence, you want to maximize your efforts to work the most productive hours.

Stay Positive and Focused

focus

Every day might not be good but there is something good in every day. Stay positive and focused on your goals is key to being successful in this business. The only time when people fail is when they quit. If you don’t quit then you don’t fail. If you get a couple hours of consistent “No’s” don’t take it personally. Play the averages. If you flip a coin the law of averages states you will flip heads 50% of the time and tails 50% of the time. Sometimes you might get tails for 50 straight flips. The Law of averages will sooner or later come into play and you might flip the next 50 times heads. So if you are doing all the right things you are bound to get some “Yes’s” back to back sooner or later. It is true when they say every “No” you get makes you closer to getting a “Yes”.
Speak positive and proclaim positive affirmations. It might sound funny but speak out loud and tell yourself ” I like myself” “I like Myself”. That will have a positive effect on yourself. Also, tell yourself “I am good at what I do” many times and eventually your subconscious will listen to you and put you I the direct path to really be good at what you do. Your subconscious will not let you lie to yourself.

Stay Consistent

Stay focused

You are either consistent or non-existent. The only way people master anything they do is by doing what you do over and over again. Reflecting on what you say and do for each call. Look for areas of opportunity for improvement. maybe there is a word you can change or maybe eliminate. Or maybe you need to adjust your rebuttal to an objection that you can not overcome. Being consistent will help you recognize these little details that you might need to adjust. Consistency will eventually lead to reaping all the benefits you sow. All the effort you put in you will eventually benefit from it.

Sales Secrets In Conclusion

These are some secrets that many successful people in telemarketing might be reluctant to let you in on. If you take advantage of these secrets I let you in on and if you do all the right things you will get the right results. Hard work and determination is not really that big of a secret but the people who actually implement these tips don’t like to let people in on what exactly they are doing. They generally want you to figure it out on your own. So take advantage of these. Let me know if you have any telemarketing secrets that you would like to share.

Top Down Pricing: How To Maximize Profits

It amazes me sometimes that I see companies or salespeople use guesswork when it comes to top-down pricing. If you throw out a number and hope it sticks to the wall is a little unprofessional. This way of doing things is a great way to leave money on the table and even lose a client. Research to give a proper quote is the most professional solution to this issue. Being prepared reminds me of a saying “Proper Preparation Prevents P Poor Performance”

Top Down Pricing

Competitive Pricing

Proper research on what exactly your competition is charging. Not only looking at the price but make sure you know what exactly what the product entails. Is there something extra or something missing for what you are offering. If you offer more benefits and features then your competitor this is a possible reason why you can have a higher price than whatever your competitor is offering. One thing that is important to understand is the more flexibility that you have with your product the more flexibility you can have in your pricing. Also the more add-ons or extras you offer allows you to increase your price higher than the competition that might not have extras. This helps you be more unique and separates you from the competition.

competition

Spending Habits

A big part of the research has to be how much are you potential customers willing to pay for your product. This is probably one of the most important metrics to obtain data. Of course, it is self-explanatory but whatever your customers think your product is valued at there is not too much to you can do besides adding extras. What are the drivers that influence your customers to purchase your product? Drivers can be something that separates you from your competition. Why would they choose your product from the rest? Once you obtain this data look at what price that will cast a wide net what price will capture the biggest market share

spending habits

Put It All Together

Once you have gathered as much data as possible you should have a better idea how to price out your product with the best opportunity to make the highest profit without alienated some potential buyers by what I call is “price offending” them. This research will allow you to have an aggressive price that allows your sales team to pitch with confidence. The key is also figuring out ways to increase pricing with extras services or add-ons to enhance the likeability of your product or service. Does your pricing allow for upsells or cross-selling that includes other products you might offer? Does it wipe out certain products that are not really necessary when releasing your price? For the sales reps perspective, it is always best to keep options simple. Never complicate the decision part of the sale. Since of course leads to customers wanting to think more about buying what you are offering.

together

In Conclusion: Top Down Pricing

Top Down Pricing is something taken lightly or just pushed to the side but if done correctly this eliminates any wasted time by trial and error. CRM’s and AI systems can help you obtain, manage, and decipher the data from your research. These are great tools but if you can figure out the best pricing for your product doing this manually. Sometimes your price may be significantly higher than your competitors. As long as you have value and can show how your product can benefit the customer more than any other product there should not be a problem. Remember what is expensive to you may not be expensive to someone else. The opinion of something being expensive is subjective.
I am interested in how has top-down pricing influenced your business? Please leave some feedback in the comment section.

Assumptive Closes: How To Assume The Sale

The Assumptive close is a way of structuring everything you do and say as if your customer has made the decision to buy from you already. This technique is a way to ease the pressure off the buyer and lowering buyers resistance. When a salesperson masters this technique it will be natural and used in every conversation besides sales conversations. It is positive thinking in its real form. This is a technique that you can actually watch as the outcome manifest in front of you.

Assumptive Closes

It Is A Mindset, A Way Of Life

I was once told when you assume something you make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. In sales, it is really the opposite since by assuming the sale you are manifesting it into reality. You put the idea into your customer’s minds like they are already enjoying your service or product without having to deal with any buyer anxiety. You act like it is done and it will be done. Positive thinking is a mindset that most sales reps cannot be without. Assume everything like it is said and done.
Do you know when martial artist break blocks of ice or wooden planks with their fist they picture their fist breaking the barrier before they actually do it? Well, this is the same thing the difference is if you fail you won’t be walking away with a broken hand. So picture as if your customer has already bought from you.

Speak It Onto Existence

When you notice your customer is genuinely interested in what you offer. You want to ease their minds as if they are enjoying your product or service. Or have them think of what you offer as a status symbol that they are showing off to the neighbors, friends or family. This embeds ownership of your product like it is theirs all ready to enjoy. You are tapping into the pleasure endorphins of owning what you are offering. Always ask how are you going to feel if …. Never say what do you think it is going to be like… Salespeople sell on emotion so ask “how will you feel?”

Pen and paper

Pen and Paper Method

The pen and paper close is another form of an Assumptive close. This can also be referred to “The Order Form Close” If you are using order forms to take a sales order. Whip out an order form and write the customers name on top big and bold. If they interject and say “wait wait I have not decided to get anything yet.” Then you just casually say Mr. or Mrs. prospect don’t worry about this I want to make sure I get everything down, I have a horrible memory and I just want to make sure I don’t forget every detail you need. When we are done, I will just tear this up and toss it away when I am done. So as you are going with your pitch you are checking off boxes writing out details as if you are taking the order. Have them point out to which box if possible by saying “was it this one or that one you wanted?” Then they are starting to take ownership with your order form easing any buyer anxiety. Then you go into your assumptive talking having them agree to their availability with dates and times. Then say great sounds like we have everything as you specified and to move forward I just need your name written by this X. Pass them the pen and paper. Then use the art of the silence close. Don’t say anything. Whoever speaks first loses. If they sign then great. Or if you like you can ask them by looking into their eye “so what is the spelling of your last name or what is your billing address?” once you completed your question break eye contact like you are about to start writing. This puts the prospect in an awkward position by feeling like they have to give you the info requested. Once they give it to you then that is the sign that they are wanting to move forward with you.

science

It Is Art More Than Science

It is always helpful to close when you assume the sale. Make sure you are using this technique casually like it is normal. No one likes a scripted sales style that makes you look fake and unprofessional. The best salespeople are always casually assuming the sale. if it is not natural the customer can perceive this as pushy or not being sensitive to their needs. Learn how to be reactive to the customer’s body language. Their body language can tell you everything they are thinking without saying a word to you. When a customer feels comfortable with you they will let you led them in any direction you want to take the sale. That truly means they trust you.
On the other hand, if they seem argumentative or closed then you have not won their trust. They might answer every question short without details. They might have their arms closed like they are saying this is where its stop you are not coming closer.

Conclusion: Assumptive Closes

This close is a must have for all salespeople to have in their arsenal. Without it can cause some sales to slide right past you. It is key to have a few different closes that you have mastered since every prospect is not all the same. Every sales call is not the same. Learn how to adapt to different types of people. learn how to adjust to different environments. Zig Ziglar once said “You can’t sell everyone unless you are a con artist” but what we can do is learn many techniques and equip ourselves so we can close as many sales call as possible.

keys to success


Key Points

  1. Assume the sales as if they had bought from you before
  2. Speak with assumptive language
  3. Use the paper and pen close
  4. Pay attention to body language
  5. Assume the sale use the silence close
  6. Ask for their spelling in their name and break eye contact

WARNING: Door To Door Sales legal Issues

Door to door sales and the legal issues are a major concern for generally new sales reps who probably get a lot of heat out in the field. They probably are pay attention to a lot of negativity. The most common question I hear “Is door to door sales illegal?” or “Is soliciting illegal?”. I understand how maybe someone new to this business might think it is against the law. To answer this first we should thank the Johovah Witnesses for taking this issue all the way to the supreme court since various towns tried to impose regulation to make it difficult for people going door to door. The Justices upheld our right to solicit based on the first amendment which is “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” There is some provision that we should all know the first is know that solicitor cannot just knock on doors at any time. The earliest you can visit home is 9:00 am until the latest is 9:00 pm.

Door to door legal issues

Local Cities and Ordinances

It is a great idea to check the towns and cities you plan on working in since they are all different. Some areas enforce permits and are really strict while some towns may have other priorities they focus their resources on. The towns that don’t enforce permits might have each individual homeowner decide what they will allow by enforcing a residence “No Soliciting” sign.
Strict towns generally will require to register with the City Hall and require the following:

  1. Live Scan
  2. Picture
  3. Registration Fees

While registering some towns may require

  1. Drivers License or other legal Identification Card
  2. Provide home address and cell phone number
  3. Disclose company if any you are representing
  4. Disclose any convictions of any criminal offenses whether felony or misdemenor
  5. Possession or proof of any license or permit
  6. Statement of the nature of business you will be conducting

This process to work in a town may seem like a big hassle but after you have completed registration it does help to improve your team confidence by having a sense of being legit with not a right to work without any problems

door to door legal issues

My “No Soliciting” Story

I understand that many companies try and coach ways to approach homes with “No Soliciting” signs but keep in mind some local towns legally enforce homeowners with these signs. I don’t endorse ignoring these signs but it does remind me of a time when we use to not pay attention to them
I remember a time when we were working out in a town in Southern California. Another rep and I were leapfrogging and knocking this block. We were experiencing low contact and my partner came across a home that had a “No Soliciting” sign.
My patner was a veteran sales rep and had door knocked for years but he was new to our team and new to California. He had knocked across the country but he was originally from Alabama. He had that deep drawed out southern accent. His sounded a little like the comedian Jeff Foxworthy. He called me over and asked me if we knocked those homes in California. I told him it was completely up to you and since we had not had to much contact he decided to knock the door.
He knocked the door and a tall white man answered the door looking a little iratated and said “what do you want”
My partner started to get into his pitch when the prospect cut him off imediately and pointed to the sign and shouted out ” Did you see that” “Can’t you read”
My partner with his southern Jeff Foxworthy accent answered “Well sir, I figured….if you bought some stupid st like that” with accent sounding real drawn out “You would end up buying some stupid st from me”
The guy giggled a little and just closed the door. When we got away from the home I just couldn’t stop laughing and only someone with a southern accent like his would have been able to pull that off. The best part of this story was while we were still working the block we were coming back to that same home but this time the resident was outside and of course we were friendly and waved to him but he called my partner over and asked what were we selling? With that buying question you can pretty much tell how the conversation ended.
I would not recommend doing that with any home that has a “No Soliciting” sign. I think only his accent and his personality would have been able to pull that off.

Conclusion: Door To Door Sales legal Issues

Again we should thank the Jehovah Witnesses for fighting the good fight to go door to door. As a reminder, The Supreme Court decided that we have the right to knock doors in the United States. Although you must follow the local laws and Ordinances. Each town and city is different and would require different thing or nothing at all. If a town requires you to register and you do complete their registration only help you and your team being legal with the town and it provides some credibility with the residents in that town.

How Will Artificial Intelligence Impact The Sales Industry?

Artificial Intelligence in the sales industry

Artificial Intelligence will impact the sales Industry along with the entire workforce. There are many questions about AI and I can understand why. There is a lot of uncertainty from many people. Some are predicting a lot of doom and gloom and we will all end up bowing down to our AI masters. Well others say there is nothning to worry about AI and it will be our greatest tool to help us out. I think that the more likely scenario would be AI will increase our productivity and help us be more efficient. If AI is looking like it is going down the doom and gloom path I would hope that these geniuses that are creating AI would include a kill switch our atleast easy access to pull the power cord.

How Has AI Impacted Us Now?

The biggest Impact has been the use of Chatbots. We all have interacted will chatbots in some form or another. If you have talked to SIRI or Cortana that is a Chatbot that uses NLP technology which is considered machine learning technology. NLP (Neuro-Language Program) is a program that gives the machine a list of options to respond and it responds with the best option. That is probably the easiest way to explain this complex algorithm.
Chatbots are widely used doing simple tasks in customer service roles by provide information, or directing people to the right departments when customers are in need of help.
The most intriguing role Chatbots have been involved in is when they interpret overwhelming amounts of data in seconds. Two industries that this has impacted the most is the medical and law field.
The medical field has been using Chatbots to diagnose patients. It reads a patient medical chart and millions of medical cases that have been documented and it provides a diagnosis. Which makes doctors and other medical personnel more efficient. This gives them more time to see more patients in need.
The law field has been impacted with Chatbots by using chatbots to go through billions of cases to provide a solution to any legal problems. They are able to help fill out legal documents. Eliminating these tasks has help lawyers tremendously.

AI Improvements

How Can AI Increase Productivity In Sales?

AI has produced some minor changes with CRM’s. AI embedded CRM’s has made data analysis more efficient. Let’s face it most sales reps didn’t get hired to analyze data and most likely part of the business they don’t enjoy. Lead data and prospect data getting analyzed by AI leads to more time working with prospects solidifying and closing sales. In essence, AI analyzes all your lead data and gives you a recommendation to which leads would be best to work. It will analyze your prospect data to give you a valued recommendation. Salesforce, ZOHO and many other CRM’s have already embedded AI to their platforms.
AI has already discovered customer personas that can determine which customers should be upsold or cross-sold which many sales reps either skip over or waste time by trying to upsell every customer. AI can give you the prediction or recommendation on what to base your pitch on. So getting as specific to each individual customer as close as the data allows.
AI has been a huge help in forecasting sales projections. By analyzing market trends and previous sales history AI can predict accurately your business which of course can help the management team apply resources more accurately. AI predictions minimize the risk of unseen issues that no human without guessing can imagine.

Optimizing

How Can You Optimize Your Sales Team?

Without data AI is worthless. So you need to capture accurate data. The ideal way would be to eliminate the human touch as much as possible. I know in the industry I was involved in would have been almost impossible. One thing you can do is have a system to capture each prospect’s disposition with a drop-down menu so the rep can put the option that fits best. This should be done in real time to record time frames. Ideally if making calls to prospects there are systems you can set up phones to that capture flawless data by recording the customer that are called whether they answer or not and the time each phone call takes. If you have an email outbound campaign you can set up templates. Capturing the data from email template will be able to tell which email template customers respond to.
You can do the same sort of thing for recruiting. If you or posting recruiting ads. Have each ad with a different number to call. You can a phone system record all incoming calls. You can determine which ad works best for each individual candidate. I will just reiterate but the main idea is to capture data that is untainted by human error so that AI can interpt to see paterns that we can’ t normally see. Each individual business is different so figure out innovative ways to capture data to improve your business.

AI Future

The future Is Near

  • Virtual Assistants – VA’s are currently used today with chatbots. Once more equipped to handle more complex functions they can and will be used to take inbound calls and inquiries from prospects. This area is rapidly growing with many websites using virtual assistants to handle minimal customer service duties. They are currently processing refunds and returns for businesses which have helped relieve cost for this dreadful part of the business.
  • Deep Learning Platforms – DLP’s are enabling AI to mimic the human brain by deciphering patterns, making complex decisions which one day can be helpful in determining customer needs. These are currently being used with large dataset makes it unfeasible for use now in the sales industry but will eventually progress in the future.
  • Biometrics – This is a really interesting field. Biometrics will allow people to interact with AI more naturally. This includes touching, imagining, and voice and body recognition. Which when this progresses you can only imagine the possibilities this will have for our industry and many other industries.
AI impacts the sales industry

In Conclusion: How Will AI Affect The Sales Industry?

As you have read AI is already making an impact in the sales industry. It also is looking like to have a greater impact in the future. One thing that AI is great at is figuring out patterns in data that we can not see. They are able to go through huge amounts of data which in turn help us become more efficient. If you are doing those mundane tasks it is probably a good idea to start increasing your skill set because those jobs will most likely be a thing of the past. What type of person is needed is those sales rep who can make use of the recommendations that AI gives out. In the people business nothing is ever perfect since humans are fallible but if you are able to improve productivity with this information shows you are capable of evolving your business to adapt with AI. AI is not going away and many businesses are implementing strategies around AI. Your capabilities to work with AI and your understanding of AI will determine your need in the workplace.
So stay current, stay relevant, and keep informed on new changes in your business.
So tell me has AI affected your business? How do you see AI affecting your business in the future?

How To Build A Superstar Comissioned Based Sales Team

How to build a commissioned based sales team

How to build a superstar commissioned based sales team is a question that if you strategically take on this challange. If you put in all your time and effort in other words be “all in” you have an opportunity to create something that you can be proud of and create an internal satisfaction just as in engineer or archietect feels after building a high rise skyscapper or an artist feels after finishing a painting.
This simple model I am about to share I learned from a Psycologist named Bruce Tuckman. This simple model is one of the quickest ways to help a new team become highly effective. This model has originally been broken down they 4 stages but later added the fifth stage Adjouning. This model can be better described as stages the team goes through from the beginning

No Ceiling Income

First off when discussing commissions should be discussed in a positive tone. Explaining the potential of income a rep can receive. Show sales reps what an average sales reps will be making. Help sales reps develop a budgeting plan where they will not be living paycheck to paycheck. Show them the training and support they can receive.

Forming

forming

The Forming stage is the beginning stage where most team members have not shown their true colors. They tend to be polite and positive. Some can be a little nervous since they are unaware of exactly the work the will do. The stage you want to show your leadership abilities, play a dominant role and clearly explain each team members responsibilities and roles. You may have to sometimes drill this into your team until they are fully aware of what the must do while on your team. Depending on many things this stage can take time before entering the next stage. Once everyone is working as a team and they are bonding relationships is a sign that you are moving into the next stage.

Storming

Storming

When your team moves into this stage people feel a little more comfortable with everyone. They start testing the waters or the limits that were set in place during the previous stage. Team members can also test each other and possibly cause friction between each other. If not managed properly teams can fall apart at this stage. Just remember people work in different styles and they might not always complement each other. This can lead to frustration and friction between the team
During this stage team members can feel comfortable in their role they might even challenge your authority. Some may question the direction you are taking the team. Just stick to the clear objectives that you should have explained in the previous stage. Just be careful at this stage since there may be many problems and issues within the team but just keep in mind that is common during this stage.

Norming

Slowing as heated problems sizzle down you start to move into this stage. Team members start to get along and help each other out. The start to respect your leadership and the direction you are taking the team. This is about the time when your team has bought into your vision. They have made a stronger commitment. Teams start to excel at this stage. They are in a way, finding their groove.
Just be cautious because any changes or new job task can just throw your team back into the storming stage.

Performance

Performing

As your team reaches this stage it usually is the time when you feel some momentum and are seen small wins for your team. All the hard work you have done up until this time is starting to show with results. The team is acheiveing goals. At this stage it seems like your team is working on its own with very little help from you.
This is the time you want to start delegating tasks to team members and start using your time to develop your top reps. This a time of enjoyment when you have momentum. Your team is making money hitting goals and it almost seems like nothing can stop you.

Adjouning

This stage reminds me of the saying “The only thing that is consistent is change” This stage is when your team might go through restructuring maybe some promotions or maybe new opportunities. Whatever it is sales reps that are accustomed to a routine or reps that have established bonds with each other can have a rough time in this stage. They might view this time as uncertainty

Commission based sales team

Conclusion: How To Build A Commissioned Based Sales Team

At the end of it all you can use this method to build any type of sales teams but when focusing on developing a commissioned sales teams it is critical to get your sales reps to make sales and an income as quickly as possible. Since technically your sales rep can work for a long period of time without making any money. This could bad for moral and this can lead to a negative perception of your business by saying things like “They feel like they are working for free”

Activities

Forming– Direct the team and establish clear objectives both for the team as a whole and for Individual team members

Storming- 

Establish processes and structures

Build trust and good Relationships between team members

Resolve conflicts swiftly if they occur, provide support, especially to those team members who are less secure

Remain positive and firm in the face of challenges to your leadership or the team’s goals

Explain the “forming, storming, norming, and performing” ideas, so that people understand why problems are occurring, and so that they see that things will get better in the future. Coach team members in assertiveness and conflict resolution skills where this is necessary

Use psychometric indicators Myers-Briggs and Margerison-McCann Team Management Profile to help people team about different work styles and strengths.

Norming- Step back and help team members take responsibility for progress towards the goal. (This is a good time to arrange a team building event)

Performing- Delegate tasks and projects as far as you can. Once the team is achieving well, you should aim to have as tight a touch as possible. You will now be able to start focusing on other goals and areas of work.

Adjourning- Take the time to celebrate the team’s achievements – you may work with some of your people again and this will be much easier if people view past experiences positively.

Personal Sales Coach: Guaranteed To Be Worth Every Penny

Personal Sales Coach
I learned so much from these sales leaders!

What I am about to write here is a little more about my sales career and about my “Personal Sales Coach Services” that I provide can be a looked at as a biased opinion. Which I admit it is really hard to be negative about myself. What I can tell you is that I am going to lay out facts and testimonials from other people that I have helped in their journey within their sales career.
While writing this took me on a little journey down memory lane and made me remember how much I loved being out in the field.

Some Will Some Won’t So What What is Next?

If you have read my about me section titled “Who Is David? What is Perfect Training?” I wrote a brief condensed version Who is David? of what I am going to write about here.
In essence, I wanted to explain my sales experience here in more detail. Sales do have many avenues that you can set your career path on. Sales in general if sticking to the basic fundamental skills can be adapted and applied in each and ever “sub-industry”. As an example, a concept that can be applied in ever sub-industry is how people buy. Every customer from a customer in a clothing store to a customer that is buying a multi-million dollar apartment building is buying or decides to buy based on the emotional side of their brain. Now, of course, that doesn’t mean they haven’t logically figured out there budget but what pushed them over the edge and take action is coming from the emotional side of the brain. So that basic fundamental can be a blanket concept. So what I am trying to get at is that the skills I have learned can be used in almost every sub-industry of sales.Owner of Perfecttraining101.com

I originally started out my career in sales as a Real Estate Salesman. I received my Real Estate license in 2005. During this time let me put it in perspective my mindset. I thought at this time that I would never take a 100% commission job. When I set out in the Real Estate “sub-industry” I had in my mind that I was going to get a Real Estate Sales job with base and commission which I was nieve to think there was one out there.
This time is my sales career I was lucky to join a company that paid special attention to new agents. Which they provided a mentorship with seasoned sales agents. I learned some key techniques to help prospect from scratch and obtain new business
Being a rookie in sales and only learning the bare basics from my Real Estate principal class I was pretty much set up to fail. If it was n’t for the vision I had set and the relationships I had started to establish I might have just given up. At this time one of the most important things I learned is that if you were going to decide to quit pursuing your goals think of the big picture you are not just giving up now but you are giving up on all the hard work you have done while on your journey.doors

Being Humble Is The Way of the Walk

At this time I have been in Real Estate Sales for a little less than a year I had not sold any homes. I had a lot of people that seemed interested in purchasing homes but I felt like I was treated as a free source of live information. I was all too willing to answer any question which I still am. It makes me feel important to have people asking me for advice. So do get some satisfaction inside when I help people out. ( Which by the way is one of the reasons I have been effective in sales but at this time I didn’t know that this quality helped me out)
Although I enjoyed helping people I had to figure out how to turn these people that I just talked to into a client that is pursuing a Real Estate deal with me. At this point, I was just a conversationalist and not a salesman.

Laser Beam Focus

The lesson I learned was to turn people that just called me to ask questions into a more solid prospect was first to pre-qualify them and if qualified set up a face to face meeting. Every call I received with a person asking a Real Estate question I had an objective to close for the face to face appointment.
At this time home loans and refinance were popular so I decided to focus on doing real estate loans. I worked on a low budget but a professional marketing strategy that proved to be effective.
I finally started to close some loans and did get some home sales without any focus on that part of the business. Things were starting to look good until guess what? I was in one of the biggest financial bubbles in history. I was still a rookie and didn’t understand the how huge this was at the time but I rode it out even though it went from easy to make money to have to work double the amount of time. Most people that I worked with fell off but this gave me an opportunity to learn some fundamentals in sales and correctly work the process. At this stage of my career, I learned another important lesson and that is if you consistently do the right activities correctly it is impossible to get the wrong results. At this time in this sub-industry if you didn’t stick to the fundamentals and any errors you made impacted you twice as hard. So you either follow the sales process or you fail.
When the odds are against you and you have your back to the wall is something I found that I thrive in. I become just a little more creative and I tend to be motivated to work harder. I didn’t know at the time why this motivates me more but for me it is true “pressure can either form a diamond or it can turn you into dust.”

Most Self-Made Millionaires Say They Have Never Worked A Day In Their Life

I have the type of personality that is that I like when I am learning and growing is when I am most enthusiastic and motivated. I know that this is similar to most people who are just always excited to learn new concepts and ideas. I think people are similar to me and don’t like to be in a rut stuck and doing the same thing over and over again.
Most people that choose sales as their profession have this type of personality. I find that most millennials are like this but not for a similar reason. Millennials like to be more independent with new challenges although appreciate structure they do tend to push back on being micro-managed.
I have learned that is best to work in an environment that when you wake up and have to go to work you are not waking up saying “Awe damn another day another dollar” or something similar to that. You should wake up feeling enthusiastic and you can’t wait to face the day.

personal sales coach
While I was getting ready to hit the field. I was doing solar sales at this time

Although I loved working in Real Estate I felt that there were challenges and always be challenges but I wanted more I wanted to learn more about sales and different parts of the industry. While still dabbling in Real Estate I went to work for a nationwide marketing and sales company. This is where I went to the next level in sales.

Taking Sales To The Next Level

In my opinion, the best type of sales rep is the one that has no pre-conceived notion about how things should be and think that they are entitled to anything. They are not overall desperate but do whatever it takes as long as it morally correct. The best sales rep has a student mentality, doesn’t act like they know everything but has confidence in themselves
When I joined this company that is the mindset that I had. I started as an entry level sales rep. I knew that there was so much to learn when it came to sales. This company had an awesome training when it came to sales and leadership. The general manager that hired me into the company is maybe the most responsible for helping understand what the next level in sales was about. I learned from him and others within the company.
I learned quickly that I soon became one of the tops reps weekly and consistently. I was making one of the top incomes in my office. I was really happy since I worked hard, I was learning and overcoming challenges daily.

I am not trying to brag about myself but just bring to light my accomplishments. There was so much for me to learn and I was given the opportunity to learn even more about the industry. I was promoted to a general sales manager after 6 months from when I started with the company. My regional manager and director later told me after they promoted me that I was considered a risky promotion since I did well at sales but I had never recruited or develop anyone in the company.

At the time I knew I needed to work on recruiting and that is what I did. I went on a super crazy hiring spree where I interviewed 100s of recruits. I read books and listened to CDs about hiring the right sales reps. I had to learn quick or my entire career in sales would fall. With trial and error, I ended up becoming one of the best recruiters in the company. That is what I actually become known for throughout the time I was in this company. I was known as one of the top recruiters.

Awesome Sales Leaders

After 18 months of working hard never taking any time off going through peaks and valleys as normally the way sales can go, I was promoted to Regional Sales Manager. I felt a lot of hard work had paid off. I started reaping many rewards for consistent hard work. One lesson to learn from my journey so far is consistent hard work offers many benefits and huge rewards. In sales, for consistently doing the right things over and over again it is impossible to get the wrong results. The right things compound on top of each other which in turn provides huge benefits.

At the end of my tenure with this company, I worked my way up to a Regional Sales Manager managing teams across the West Coast in cities in the North West to Northen California down to Southern California and in Las Vegas.
I have since then moved on to open my own business and on occasion do some consulting/ contraction work with this company that I was fortunate to work for.

In Conclusion: Personal Sales Coach by Dave

I have set up these services to offer those that may benefit from the knowledge that I have gained. Read over my story and if you are in the same type of sales environment then I most likely can help you. All sales industries I can help. People looking for help in leadership or managing sales reps I am the one to help. I usually set up face to face interviews before I decide to work with someone. I do not work with just anyone. After a face to face interview and I gain more insight into your goals and what you are trying to accomplish I can assess if I will work with you or not. Contact me here for additional help or comment below.

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How To Take Your Sales Team Performance From The Bottom To The Top

Sales team performance I strongly believe rises and falls on the leaders and managers of the sales organization. Like the saying says “The Kingdom” takes on the characteristics of the king. So you as a leader must lead by example in the workplace and outside the workplace. You need to set in stone clearly defined objectives and goals. In essence, you must set a strong foundation. If you have a shaky foundation it might not get noticed for a long time but when it does what you eventually build will all come crashing down.Teams Sales Performance

Creating a Winning Culture

When you begin hiring a sales team you must develop a culture that you can be proud of. Where there are processes in place but the sales reps are treated with respect and they get the sense that you care. If you show reps that you care more about them and their well being they will be more inclined to stay with you and the company for a long time. If you can create a culture where your sales reps feel like they are a part of a team working together but every individual’s concern matters, that will bring a solid team working together that can accomplish many challenges.
When it comes to accountability makes sure you express to your sales team that you pushing them to hit sales targets is for their benefit and they are not just a number making money for the company.
A winning culture has sales reps thinking as they are students to the sales craft and they are always learning to improve their skills. Self-education is one of the most effective ways to improve sales and therefore increase reps income.

Sell To Stay Alive, and Recruit To Retire

When I was a sales manager that was directly over the sales team in the company hierarchy I would be out with my team in the field selling right by there side. Now I will get into this a little bit later but you should have a mindset of selling to make today’s money and always recruiting for future money. This might be the same for you or at least similar but when I was a sales manager and I ran a 100% commission sales team. My income depended on my sales teams production and my personal sales. For me, this worked out extremely well now that I see the big picture. Don’t get me wrong during this time I had thought I should have got paid more and shouldn’t have to get sales for an increase in income. Now I see the byproduct of this commission structure. It pushed me to work out in the field with my team and also push me to recruit all the time. In essence, the bigger team I had would lead to more sales, therefore, increasing my income.
This whole concept influenced me to do the right activities without having my immediate supervisors above me micro-managing me. Which empowered me to lead my team the way I thought was the best. This made me take ownership of my team so when the team was winning out in the field I was winning and of course, if they encountered tough issues I did also.

Attracting Top Notch Sales Reps

On the surface level, most people seeking employment are generally looking for the highest compensation structures. If you are a new company or just don’t have a budget to be the highest compensation in your specific sales industry how can you still attract high caliber sales reps. First and foremost in my strong opinion, it is always best to recruit and hire people that are first-time job seekers since they don’t have any preconceived notions about sales. Seasoned or Veteran Sales reps can sometimes have an attitude like they know everything or someone who has never been in sales but has worked various jobs may have a negative perception about sales. Not to say those people will not work but like they say “it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks” because they might be stuck in their ways.
If you do decide to hire seasoned recruits a good idea is to make sure that they have a student mindset and they are willing to submit to adapt and learn your sales culture that you established.
What these type of people are generally looking for is a company they have a good reputation in the industry. That might consist of what do those in the industry say about your company, how do your clients perceive your company, or maybe what do previous employees say about their tenure while working with your organization.
What you can do is approach this head on and get in front of every recruit as soon as possible. So they hear anything about your organization it comes from you or whatever they have previously heard you can endorse or discredit it.
To attract top-notch recruits your culture must show recruits that you promote the idea of everyone is helping each other to become successful by teaching training and providing a platform to address issues or concerns.

Leading From The Front

I did mention this a little bit earlier but I do believe if you are the sales manager that the direct leader over the sales team you must be leading by example. You must show you are in the trenches with them. This concept helps out in so many ways. When your reps see you working out in the field with them it gives them a sense of belonging to a team and respect for you the leader. You being in the field eliminates many excuses from the poor performing reps because you are out there experiencing everything they are experiencing. If you can do it so that leaves little excuse to why they shouldn’t be able to do it.
There are 2 of my favorite leaders in history that lead from the front and were highly respected. We can learn a thing or 2 from them The first was was Julius Ceasar who fought right alongside his military. What he would do was wear a red cape in battle so he would stand out while he was fighting. He led a military consisting of hundreds of thousandths of soldiers and each soldier seen him in battle fighting which was extremely beneficial for moral. So we can learn from Julius Ceasar and make sure your team sees you out in the field leading from the front. You don’t need a red cape but you can still stand out in front of your reps.
The second leader we can learn from was my favorite General George S. Patton who was always leading his people from the front. He was so far in front he got shot in the leg during WWI. He was a true 360-degree leader since those that followed him loved him and would do anything for him. General Patton’s’ leadership above him respected him so much the appointed him to help plan out the French African Invasion during WWII. He wrote the Army doctrine for militarized armored vehicles or tanks. The upper leadership trusted his decision making.
Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect even Patton made a public blunder while visiting a military hospital he slapped a soldier that was in the hospital getting treated for shell shock or today we might call it PTSD. Not only did Patton hit him but he ordered him to the front of the battle line.
The public heard of this and had got really upset that Patton did this. They were calling for his resignation but he was admired by his leadership and the people he led. So that would never happen.
So Patton leading from the front help him become a respected powerful man in the Military. Leading from the front helped him move up the ranks quickly from working border patrol duty defending against Pancho Villas raids to eventually leading the 3rd Army during WWII which consisted of 6 corp and 42 divisions.

Developing Leaders Around You

It is always best to have new leaders training and getting ready for the opportunity to call on them. Developing leaders and making sure they are ready for the next step. Having a mentor program by having your future leaders develop their leadership skills by reading success and leadership books. Getting them involved in seminars based on leadership or anything related to your specific industry. If you are the sales manager and you are looking to move up within your company. This is a great practice and to be known as a person who develops up and coming leaders is a great way to accelerate your position up in the company.

Conclusion: Taking Your Sales Performance From The Bottom To The Top

In conclusion, there are many ways to score a touchdown in a football game. Meaning there are many ways to lead your team to success. You as a leader must find what works best for you and your team. Some of these best practices I have provided have helped myself and others establish and maintain top performing sales teams. Remember a smart person will learn from their own experiences but a wise person will learn from other people experiences. What best practices have you used to improve your sales team performance?

 

Top Down Selling Is the Key to Selling Correctly

Top down selling is an interesting topic as I read across the net. I come to find out my idea of top-down selling is in some ways different than what most people have written. My idea of top-down selling is more like a negotiating tactic or method. This is a method that helps the buyer feel good about making their buying decision. Since you give them the reins to customized the product with your guidance. In essence, this forces you to become an expert in your product and an expert in your pricing and promotions. This method also helps you become an expert in sales fundamentals. Such as negotiating tactics, reading and communicating with customers, and closing techniques. Let me explaintop down selling

1. Selling From The Top

So after you get through your introduction to who are you? and why are you there? and it is about that time you are about to give your valued recommendation. Your valued recommendation should never start with the price. Never ever sell on price. If you gain a customer on the price you will lose a customer on price. This is so true. Anytime I have seen a customer that was won over based on price was also lost on price when they contacted the competition and simply asked “can you beat this price?” A mentor of mine used to always say keep your hand out of your customers’ pockets. What is expensive to you may not be expensive to someone else. Expensive is a relative concept.
In top-down selling, it is ideal to start with your most extravagant luxurious item. The item with all the bells and whistles. The service that comes with all warranties and support that may last a lifetime. The customer may like all the bells and whistle when you mention it. They might see a whole lot of value once you explain it. Since you are the expert you can make almost anyone get excited about the products you offer.
You being the expert should know this but customers get excited when you are talking about the things they enjoy and not only what you like. Remember this is not about you this is always about the customer. Customers get excited when you are discussing how your product benefits them. Think of WIIFM pronounced whiff-em. WIIFM stands for What Is In It For Me. Act like the customer is silently telling you this everytime you mention a feature.

2. Navigating Your Recommendation

After you enthusiastically explain your most extravagant product, you explain the price and the customers’ excitement comes down because they figure out that all add-ons you gave them might be a little more than they need. Instead of the customer coming down on a hard crash you can ease the customer with a less extravagant product of yours.
This customer interaction becomes more of a negotiation or haggle. Similar to like if you were in your local flea market, and haggling with the vendors. Step by step ease your way down to where your customer feels as if they are getting more value with a price they seem comfortable with. It is a good idea while in this state of the negotiation process to give them a promotion or two.
Feel your customer out. Pay attention to their words, the tone in their speech, their facial expressions and most important pay attention to their body language. If a customer’s eyes light up most likely they like what you are saying and it interests them. If they look bored or even tired then most likely you are not creating enough excitement.
When listening to the words your customer speaks and they are copying or using the same words you are using most likely they are engaged in the conversation. If they are mentioning other things besides the general subject you are talking about then most likely they might not be too interested in what you are saying. Reading customers is a great topic we can write an entire article on that I will get into in the future.happy

3. An Expert Negotiator Is a Happy Customers

When interacting with customers you should always be making them feel special. Compliment them but do not sound fake or not genuine because customers can read fake salespeople miles away. It is obvious why you want your customer to feel happy.
Our reason for people to be happy is that people buy with emotions and if you get a customer excited and happy when you are negotiating with them they will be more inclined to buy from you. After the entire haggle process you and the customer worked hard on a suitable agreement. You conformed the product around what your customer considers the best value for the cost. Your customer should feel happy as if they worked from a high priced deal to something they feel is a great deal they worked for. They might feel a little boastful and you should let them. They might brag to their friends how they are an expert negotiator that just worked out the best deal possible. If it makes them happy just let them brag. You should understand being humble is the key to your victory in the end. The customer should have the perception that they negotiated a deal that if it wasn’t for you they could have not got a better deal. This will, in turn, make it more solid and help from the customer feeling buyer remorse.keys

4. Why is Top Down Selling The Key To Selling Correctly

After all, is said and done if you are using this tactic correctly means that you have come over the rookie mistake of selling based on price. You are not afraid to lead with the highest priced product you can offer. You are able to navigate the sales process by listening to your buyers’ words and body language. You are able to get your customer excited about the products you offer. You spend quality time with the customer understanding their needs building a relationship and making a solid sale that will be less likely to cancel and more likely to stick with you for a long time.

5. Top-Down Selling: My final thoughts

Top-down selling is just one key method that can help you improve your sales performance and hopefully give you an income raise. With that said there are many techniques, tactics, and methods. If this method resonates with you all you need to do is practice it role play with others doing real case scenarios. You should be effective if you practice it.
Just remember there are many techniques and I would suggest that you have a few techniques and a few closes in your arsenal because when working with people you have to expect the unexpected. There are always different challenges and nothing is ever the same. The only thing consistent in sales is change.

So have you been successful using the top-down selling method? Or what method have you used that help you in your sales career?