The Axioms of Selling Blog

22 Jun by Bob Nicols

Most Sales Executives believe once the economy takes off, their revenue numbers will be once again achievable. Budgets will be funded, people will start buying, and happy days will be here again.

The economy is not a like a light switch that is either on or off. Economic downturns have broader consequences. And as conditions improve, it's critical for Sales Executives to recognize what has changed and adjust their selling strategies and approaches accordingly.

This is especially important when in a necessity-based economy.

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30 May by Bob Nicols

Let me rant for a few minutes. I know it's not my style, but I've been driven to the brink by two recent call center encounters that left me wondering whether or not I was being punked.

The following stories are true. The names have been changed to protect the less-than-innocent and, selfishly, both of these companies are excellent prospects for my company.


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09 May by Mike Bybee

"You're really just looking for problems that haven't been solved yet."

That was the advice of my first sales manager as to the best way to sell office products. It would constitute the bulk of what would pass for both sales and product training.

This was before I was turned loose to find customers whose office workers surely needed my company to deliver them from the grip of inferior office machines that were the source of their inefficiency and despair.

My first boss was always parsing out morsels like that one, as if from some sort of sales manager's PEZ dispenser. Another of his pearls that has stayed with me over the years is, "Timid sales people have skinny kids."

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25 Apr by Bob Nicols

I'd like you to think about your customers and prospects for a moment -- more specifically, about how they spend their time when going through the decision cycle for the solutions you offer.

How much time, as a percentage of the total time they have, do you think they actually spend evaluating YOUR solution?

In the last twenty years we've asked this same question of thousand of sales people. A few optimistic people will say five or 10 percent, but the sales veterans know better:

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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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