Training Tuesday:Increasing Sales Achievements

High achievers embrace new experiences more eagerly than average achievers, they leave their comfort zones more willingly, and as a result, become more familiar with the process of growing than others do. They also view the anxiety or pain involved in new challenges as a small price to pay compared to the new levels of success they enjoy in return. High achiever thinking can be learned; however, the process takes time, patience, skillful mentoring, and persistence. Below are some of our suggestions for becoming a “high achiever” in sales.

1.Find role models or mentors to help you grow. There are many more people in high places willing to give advice than there are people actively seeking advice from them. You can find a role model n those you already know or use it as an opportunity to expand your network.

2.Don’t “should” yourself. To practice a new way of thinking, begin by practicing a new way of talking to yourself that puts your thoughts in a psychologically helpful perspective. Don’t personalize or internalize a negative situation by saying that you “should” be doing better, focus instead on what you “could” be doing.

3.Increase your mental “navigation” skills. Begin imagining new possibilities, new ways of acting, new ways of overcoming obstacles or roadblocks. It is important to use imagination constructively so it will enhance your ability to deal with situations.

4.Test the reality of your thinking. Work to put things in perspective and keep unrealistic or overprotective thoughts from getting in the way of your success.

5.Face difficulties and enjoy growth. Accept the fact that in order to grow, we must face difficult experiences. High achievers accept the challenges of growing as necessary and they learn to seek out experiences that enhance their growth.


Implement some of these techniques, and you will find yourself growing and achieving more towards your sales goals.


Training Tuesday:Balancing the Sales Pitch

Training Tuesday: Balancing the Sales Pitch and Silence

Often the most important part of your sales pitch is when you are completely silent. We often rush through all the great benefits of why a customer would buy, without really listening to them tell us what they need and why they might buy from us.

Most people hate mimes. Why do they exist? Are they evil? If a tree falls on a mime does he make a sound? But, silence is the one important sales attribute that mimes demonstrate in abundance. So, on your next sales call, be a mime, at least for part of the call. Silence just may turn out to be the most important piece of the sales puzzle. 

Why is it that so many salespeople think they must tell everything they know before allowing the prospect to talk? Why is it that some think the sales process involves a lot of talking when, in reality, the most successful salespeople do more listening than talking? It’s a fact that the more we listen, the more we can learn about our prospects and the easier we can find their “hot buttons.”  It’s not what we say that makes the sale, it’s what we can get the prospect to say.

Begin With Questions

Think about how many times you launch right into your presentation thinking you know what the prospect wants. Sometime later, often too much later, you find you’re on the wrong track. The prospect has an entirely different need – one you might have uncovered by asking open-ended questions that required more than a yes or no response. Then you could have focused on what the customer wanted instead of what you had to sell. Stop thinking so much about what you are going to say and concentrate on what the prospect is telling you.

It’s a paradox: the more we try to tell the prospect up front, the more barriers we create to the purchase. However, the more we listen to why he or she wants to buy, the more we can tailor our delivery to providing very specific information concerning how our product or service fits his or her needs.

Ask More Questions

The opening question is merely the first in a series of questions that guide the dialogue. It’s an approach as old as the art of miming. If we want to involve someone – the first step in convincing that person – every comment we make should end with a question that solicits more information. The person asking questions is the person controlling the direction of the dialogue. The one who is talking is providing information that helps the other adjust the direction.

After you ask a question, however, don’t be too anxious to fill the silence. Let the silence work in your favor. Too often we answer the question for the prospect by jumping in and providing him with an objection:

“Perhaps you don’t like the price,” or, “Maybe you don’t like the resources it would involve.” 

Beware of the very real temptation to fill in the silence with a product weakness – the one we are most worried about.

Don’t Rush In With Answers

Salespeople have a terrible tendency to try to get their point in as soon as the customer stops talking. Think about how often you find yourself stepping on your prospect’s last words, rushing in right after the prospect has finished making a point.

Salespeople can break themselves of this self-defeating habit by training themselves to wait several seconds after the customer has stopped talking before they begin. That gives you ample time to think about your response and answer in a way that reflects the customer’s concerns.

Get in the habit of paraphrasing what the prospect has said. This will accomplish two things. One, it reduces the likelihood of misunderstanding what was said, and two, it boosts the prospect’s ego. People like to hear their thoughts repeated – it makes them feel like what they said was important.

Learn to Listen

Don’t listen with just with your ears. Listen with your eyes and your entire body. Use body language that shows you are paying more attention, and your listening habits will automatically improve. Lean forward intently, look the prospect in the eye, and focus on the valuable information you are hearing.

And finally, listen for buying signals. You’ll never notice a buying signal from the customer when you’re doing the talking. Sure, we want to talk so the prospect will learn how smart we are. But the prospect only really knows how smart we are when we’ve “listened” to the information he or she wants to share.



Motivational Minute:Harriette Thompson

Have you ever felt that you were too old, too young, too out-of-shape, or not talented enough to accomplish something? You should rethink that. Oftentimes, the biggest obstacles we face are in our own heads. I was reminded over the weekend that all things are possible with a little bit of hard work, self-confidence, and the willingness to challenge yourself.

Harriette Thompson of Charlotte, N.C., completed the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego yesterday in 7 hours and 24 minutes. Thousands of others finished the race too. Most runners finished the marathon in less time. The difference is that Harriette is 92 years old. Ms. Thompson now holds the record for the oldest woman to finish a marathon.

Harriette has completed 17 Rock ‘n’ Roll marathons. This was the hardest one. “It’s harder every year, but this year has been a bad one for me,” said Harriette, adding that her husband died in January, and that she had been suffering from a staph infection.

We can all learn valuable lessons from Harriette. One – push yourself. Don’t accept the limits that others put on you due to age, sex, education, or a multitude of other reasons why they believe you can’t do something. Two – age really is just a number. I know young 90 year olds, and I know old 30 year olds. Be the youngest, most energetic version of you that you can be. And three – try something new and challenge yourself. Harriette didn’t begin running marathons until after she was in her 70’s. I want to be like Harriette – not a bad goal for all of us to strive for.