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How to Make 2017 Your Best Year Ever

It’s already the second quarter; is it too late to discuss sales mistakes to avoid in 2017?  Or lessons learned in 2016?  It matters not what month or year it is, for some sales lessons are timeless, and furthermore, we need to revisit them on a regular basis.

The Best Presentation You Will Ever Give

Traditional sales training says present, present, present and close, close, close – convince your prospect with a compelling presentation, show him enough value, and he will surely buy.  When I first got into sales I really sweated the presentations.  I practiced them over and over; used different visual props and brochures; tried a variety of persuasive arguments; and created notebooks full of evidence favoring my product and my company.  Ultimately it became apparent that no matter how exciting or compelling my presentation was, my close rate was mostly dependent on what happened before the presentation, not during it.

Stop Telling and Start Selling

Remember this rule when meeting with potential customers at your trade show booth:  The essence of selling is not telling; it is asking questions and sharing third party stories that will help your prospect self-discover his own need for your product or service.  People do not buy features and benefits; they buy solutions to problems.  If you want to stand out from your competition, stop overloading prospects with information and brochures.  Start asking thought and emotion provoking questions.

Do You Have a Leader's Compass?

Do you have a written Leadership Philosophy that is well known by all the people in your company? It’s good for everybody when the top person knows exactly what to expect of him/herself. Creating your own personal Leader’s Compass is an easy task that will reap enormous benefits.

Are You Willing to Change Your Selling Behaviors?

In his recent book, Change or Die, author Alan Deutschman claims that although we have the ability to change our behavior, we rarely do.  In fact, the odds are nine-to-one that when faced with a dire need to change, we won’t.  Most smokers who are presented with a wealth of scientific data on the dangers of tobacco do not quit smoking.  Our beliefs are what we feel in our gut and those beliefs are hard to change; we spent a lifetime developing and defending them.  This explains why providing information rarely changes how people think or act.

Business Meeting

Fear may be the most powerful motivator affecting your buyers’ decisions. However, in their effort to maintain an image of power and control, buyers will be reluctant to share their true anxieties and concerns with you. You’ll increase your sales production when you help buyers discover and overcome their fears, show that you are sensitive to those issues, and then lead those buyers to the conclusion that your product will replace their fear with peace of mind.

Own it

It's almost always the decision maker that makes the decision work or not work – not the choice.  You can make decisions – better decisions – and you can make them work.  If you are not feeling “up to it,” no amount of concentration or wishful thinking will make your dreams come true.  Things in motion tend to stay that way and things at rest do too.  When you stop spending so much time THINKING IT OVER, and start making decisions, your prospects will too.

2017 Goals

There is something nearly magical about this time of year.  No, it isn’t the snow globes, the gifts, or the brightly colored lawn ornaments.  It is the changing of the New Year.  One simple turn of the calendar page evokes the mental sensation of a fresh start. 

Start with the end in mind

If you don’t start your sales calls with the end in mind, you should not be surprised when it doesn’t end up where you hoped. For example, at the end of a good presentation, your prospect leaves you with a Think-It-Over. After all, you can’t blame a prospect for doing something that you failed to emphasize is unacceptable. If you want to control what happens at the end of a sales call, focus on the beginning.

Emotional buying

People buy emotionally; we’ve all heard that. But what does it mean? It means that people make buying decisions emotionally; they justify these decisions intellectually. To further understand this concept, it helps to know who is making the decisions and who is justifying the decisions.