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Customer Relationships

Attending a networking event? WHY??

That may seem like a strange question, but time is one of our most limited resources! Taking a few minutes to evaluate why you should attend THIS particular networking event may save you hours of unproductive time and energy.Often, sales professionals tell me that they make their decision to attend an event based on the location of the event and their calendar availability. Instead, base your decision to attend an event based on:
Will your ideal target market likely be there? If not,

Peter Ostrow talks about the importance of integrating sales training and customer relationship management. Companies who integrate see more reps meet their quotas, and experience an overall increase in revenue.

A prospect has agreed to meet with you and indicated they are genuinely interested in your product or service. You arrive at the meeting and spend 40 minutes with the prospect sharing how your product can solve their problems, which they've just shared with you. They are very impressed with you and all the features and benefits that you've shared...

They're happy with the delivery timelines, the after sales service that will be provided and once you send the proposal with the price they're sure they can get the rest of the committee to agree to move forward.

I had an interesting conversation at a social event that made me recognize that I, along with people in general, seem to want to make decisions for other people. This is an interesting observation from a sales perspective and it's also applicable in our everyday lives.

Let me share the story:

Why do we think that by asking a question we'll hurt the prospect's feelings? What you need to remember is that that you are not responsible for how a prospect reacts to a question that you ask.

Clients share with me daily the questions they've avoided asking for fear of upsetting the prospect. Sometimes they get frustrated with themselves because they feel they lost a sale or an opportunity of a sale because they lacked the guts to ask questions. They would rather bite their tongue than ask a question that they think might make the prospect uncomfortable.

Spend some time in the psychology or self-help section in any bookstore and you'll find hundreds of books written on transforming troubled relationships. Whether husband/wife, parent/child, friend/friend or employer/employee, they dominate the shelves promising THE magical solution to resolving any issue imaginable.

If you're in sales, what about the buyer/seller relationship? The same elements that make any relationship thrive also apply to developing and strengthening bonds with our prospects and customers.

Sales isn't for the faint of heart. You don't just encounter negativity on a fairly frequent basis. In many cases, it is your job to sniff it out and address it immediately.

Sandler Rule #3, "No Mutual Mystification," deals with an issue that often plagues sales professionals-"happy ears."

You may not recall the first time you heard the word NO; however, that first time and the many times you heard it after all happened when you were a toddler. You continued to hear the word NO through your childhood years and eventually it became ingrained in your psyche.

Wednesday mornings are tough enough without our most annoying client calling in with the usual simple problem that he is over-reacting to. We sigh and answer the phone - all while making the facial gestures of a person eating oysters for the first time in their life.

WHY does that client seem to be determined to drive you insane?

It's your fault ...

Every morning the manager from the operations department stops in to tell you how your team messed up his operations this weekend. She is soooo abrasive. You answer in abrupt sentences and quite rudely push her out the door.

That's a headline straight out of sales training boot camp, but it's true.

There is a question most people want answered when they go to a sales training program or read one of the many sales how-to books; that question sounds like this, "Is there really one secret weapon or magic formula to make me better and increase my sales?" Wouldn't it be wonderful to find one ... so would winning the lottery, but not many do it.