The Axioms of Selling Blog

20 Oct by Suzanne Franks

Today's buyer-empowered, uber-competitive selling environment requires sellers to be much better at qualifying opportunities than they have ever been in the past.

Why? Because buyers have ready access to the product information they believe they need to make a buying decision. When sellers arrive they, the buyers, are ready to close the sale by negotiating the best price.

Sound familiar? So if qualifying is so critical, doesn't it make sense that sales organizations clearly and precisely define a standard set of client information objectives that determine when an opportunity is well qualified?

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04 Oct by Bob Nicols

I've seen many organizations spend countless man-hours and dollars making certain everyone on their sales team fully understands their company's product and service offerings.

"Product specialists" with a significant depth of knowledge on certain technologies/feature sets/functions have become the norm for many companies trying to find ways to differentiate their approach and provide additional value to their prospects and customers.

When queried, these masters can quote chapter and verse from product and service manuals inches thick. Unfortunately, we are molding these folks to be better technologists, not better business people.

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15 Sep by Tony Lannom

One of my favorite character movies is Glengarry Glen Ross. There is a memorable scene in the movie where Alec Baldwin plays the part of a bullying Sales Leader attempting to motivate a team of underperforming real estate sales people.

Baldwin uses a line in the scene that I hear repeated often: "Always Be Closing."

While the dramatic scene earned Baldwin an Academy Award nomination, the expression is about as applicable to today's professional selling environment as the speeding stunts of "The Fast and the Furious" are to driving through city traffic. It might be entertaining to watch, but it's going to create one heck of a mess.

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06 Sep by Bob Sanders

Here’s a quick test for you: Pull a report of the top 20 opportunities in your organization.

Now, go to each of them and answer the following questions:  

  1. What is the probability we will win this business? Is that based on the gut feel of the seller? Is it automatically generated by your CRM based on the sales stage, or is it based on what you really KNOW about the prospective customer?
  2. Who are the evaluators for this opportunity and what influence will each of them have on the outcome?
  3. Which alternatives are being considered, and which ones are presently favored by the various evaluators?
  4. What are the key business issues for this prospective customer that you may be able to impact with your solution?
  5. What criteria will they use to determine which alternative is best for their business?
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30 Aug by Mike Bybee

One of the most famous postgame press conferences in National Football League history occurred in 2002 when New York Jets coach Herm Edwards took to the microphone to deliver the sound bite that would forever define him.

Edward's Jets were in a bad way. The season was circling the drain, and as the guy in charge, it was up to Edwards to deliver the message that would turn things around. The line he delivered may earn him a placement in Bartlett's Familiar Quotations.

The Jets were 2-5, having just lost to the Cleveland Browns. A New York Times reporter asked Edwards whether he planned on having a talk with his team about not giving up on the season. To which Edwards replied with the now famous line, "HELLO? You PLAY to WIN the GAME!"

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