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The Competitive Advantage

tag: sales

April 29, 2018

Want to improve your sales results? Sell like a doctor.

For years, while working with providers of market research consulting and technology services, one of my pleas has been (and still is)… “Seek first to help… then to sell.” I believe it is THE most effective selling mindset for winning projects and – more importantly – long-term relationships with clients.

But recently, I heard that same sentiment stated another way… one that, I think, will resonate with most of us: “Sell like a doctor.”

I went through rotator cuff surgery last year. And in thinking back about the interactions with my orthopedic surgeon throughout the process, I thought about his “selling skills” and how they might translate in our industry.

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November 21, 2017

Want to Be Successful at Sales? Then Change your Mindset.

salesI hear these kinds of statements all the time in our industry:

  • “I don’t like selling.”
  • “I’m no good at sales.”
  • “I don’t want to sell.”

I think one of the reasons I hear those things is because of the perception of the profession of selling. Consider this… when I say the word, ‘salesman,’ what sorts of images comes to mind for you? The stereotypical used-car salesman? That guy near Disneyworld selling time shares? Or (for those of you in my generation) maybe Herb Tarlek, the radio ad salesman from the late 70’s sitcom, WKRP in Cincinnati?

I get it. No one really wants to associate with “salespeople” like that.

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September 26, 2017

Bad Salesperson… or Bad Sales Manager?

bad sellingTrue story… earlier this week, I was the recipient of bad selling – a “cold call” email from a sales rep in our industry pitching his services.

It started with “We’ve never met, but…” Immediately, my defenses went up! I knew what was about to come – a sales pitch of some kind.

Then, at the end of the pitch, the email went on to say, “I have no idea if this is relevant to you.” Which, of course… it wasn’t.

This kind of amateurish sales effort – very common in the Market Research industry – drives me up the wall! AAARGH!!!

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July 18, 2017

The #1 Sales Activity You’re NOT Doing… or Doing Badly!

network67 Ideas for Improving Your Follow-up Process

See if this sounds familiar… you attend a conference where you, once again, prove your ability as a networker. You meet a number of potential clients (a.k.a. “sales prospects”), have several solid conversations and collect a pocketful of business cards. All-in-all, not bad!

Then you return to the office and are diligent about sending out the “nice to meet you” emails as soon as you can. And then… crickets! No one responds or says they’re looking for a new vendor. At best, you get a few “nice to meet you, too” responses – but nothing more.

When that happens – and it always happens – what do you do?

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April 18, 2017

Former Clients + Coffee = New Business Opportunities

coffee5This morning, I met a former client over a cup of coffee. Though we haven’t done business together in a couple of years, we have stayed in touch… first, because he’s a recipient of our firm’s on-going marketing efforts (emails, social media posts, etc.), and second, because we take the time for an occasional meeting over a cup of coffee (once or twice each year).

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November 8, 2016

Planning for revenue growth in 2017: Part 1 of 6

revenue growth in 2017It’s getting to be that time of year… when we start looking ahead to next year and thinking about and planning for how we’re going to move our business forward (and upward). To help with that, we present this 6-part blog series. Each week, we’ll outline a different – and fairly easy to implement – activity that you can employ to get a leg up on revenue growth in 2017.

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October 26, 2016

Stop Setting Stupid Sales Goals… Think Small Instead

big-smallI had a boss (the company Founder) several years ago who would set the annual sales goals for our company… without much regard for what was really happening in the marketplace. The trouble was – and no surprise here – that he set ridiculously high goals (think 50%+ growth or more). Then, the rest of the team would jump through hoops to re-do all of the plan and budgets… all the while knowing that there was no way in hell we would come close to achieving those goals.

That’s NOT how to do it.

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October 11, 2016

The Secret to Sales & Marketing Success? It’s Right in Front of You.

Maximize revenue growth by leveraging your sales database.

look-at-computerThere are two kinds of sales prospects – those you know (and who know you) and those you have yet to meet. However, too many sales & marketing initiatives focus on trying to uncover more of the latter.

I submit, however, that the opposite (focusing on those you know) is a more efficient and more effective way to grow revenue.

Think of it this way… you’ve spent a ton of time, money and effort trying to increase the number of contacts in your sales database. Now it’s time to leverage all of that work.

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