The Axioms of Selling Blog

Bob Nicols

Bob Nicols
Bob Nicols has 34 years of experience in sales, sales management, executive management and sales force development. He founded Burton Training Group, now AXIOM Sales Force Development, in 1990 after being a top and highly recognized performer in sales, sales management and executive positions within the technology sector. He has managed and mentored thousands of sales people, sales managers and senior managers and been responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. For more than 21 years he has developed and delivered sales programs that have become the standard for many Fortune 100 companies including AT&T, BellSouth, Disney Enterprises, Alltel, Verizon and ESPN. AXIOM programs have been implemented in over 30 countries including Japan, the UK, Germany, Dubai, Brazil, Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, China, Mexico, Canada, South Korea, Slovakia, Sweden, and The Netherlands. Bob's highly energetic and insightful lectures and workshops have resulted in invitations to be a featured presenter at dozens of national and international sales meetings and conferences. He is a trusted advisor to the presidents and senior managers of multiple organizations, both large and small and has been a board member of a national technology company. Bob is the developer of AXIOM's “Selling Sciences ProgramTM” and co-author of the “Selling Sciences” CD series.
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Recent Posts

18 Apr by Bob Nicols

Our recent post about closing techniques prompted an interesting and thought-provoking response from a reader.

 

We thought many of you would enjoy the exchange.

 

Reader Question/Observation:

Okay - so this guy is on track but it could be done better. Asking, "Have I proven to you that we have what you want to buy," is a yes or no question. I want a "yes," or "yes if you....." response.

Should I ask, "What would have to happen for you to move forward with us today?" This is very tasteful and will get a response, and usually, this question gets one of two responses: 1. You get the sale, or 2. You get the objection, if one exists. It also forces them to present the REAL objection so you can answer it and close the deal.

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04 Apr by Bob Nicols

 

I received a message last week from an old friend who recently retired from a long and successful sales and sales management career.

 

It was tongue-in-cheek, but he stated:

There were quite a few forms that I didn't fill out when I turned in my Account Plans. Sometimes, I made up my forecast. I'm just looking for absolution...

 

Sometimes you made up your forecasts? Sometimes?

For some organizations, sales forecasting is a dreaded ritual of sales people and sales managers generating reports that, at least short-term, keep the next level of management at bay.

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30 Mar by Bob Nicols

If you remember last week's post, what I finally decided I needed was a single, all-purpose close; the granddaddy of all closes, a close I could use at any time with any buyer.

So I sat down and I pondered, then I wrote and pondered some more. I'd role-play, write, rewrite, ponder and role-play again. Finally, after trial and error, minor success and major failure, I struck the mother lode, the "use whenever with whomever" close.

Here it is:

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28 Mar by Bob Nicols

Ah, news radio. I typically only listen in the car when my wife isn't with me, but I enjoy keeping up with world events, political bickering, and even a smattering of celebrity gossip. It's one of my guilty pleasures.

There is, though, a price I pay. Yep, I endure a significant number of paid advertisements for buying gold, investing in bonds, dumping timeshares and of course, the inevitable ads for improving sales performance.

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07 Mar by Bob Nicols

You meet with a customer to qualify your opportunity and sell your solution. Your objectives include, amongst other things:

  • Learning more about the buyer's business
  • Who in the organization is involved in making the decision
  • Determining their criteria for purchase

You execute flawlessly until the very end of the call when you take a breath, your mouth opens, and you ask a question no sales person should ever ask.

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