Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sales Force Development #72: The Cost of a Sales Ghost

  • 7 Billion People in the World
  • 300 Million People in the U.S.
  • 2 Million People in Kansas City
You need to hire a new salesperson . . . Be Choosey.

If you need reminder of why to be choosey fill out the Hiring Ghost form.

Monday, May 16, 2011

7 Mandatory Qualities for your Salespeople

It should come as no surprise that the best Salespeople and Sales Forces have an abundance of conviction, discipline, positive outlook, courage, energy, creativity and resilience. Put them all together and we have the "Sales Mantra."

The trouble is that until recently, strong demand / economic periods in most industries have reduced the Sales Mantra to a collection of fuzzy, optional, buzzwords. Just ask any salesperson and they'll tell you they have all 7 and then some!

But does your Sales Force really have all 7?

1. Conviction - to ask tough qualify questions and walk away from bad prospects
2. Discipline - to do the behaviors that lead to success every day
3. Positive Outlook - that there is an abundance of new business out there
4. Courage - to pick up the phone when it's likely they don't won't to hear from us
5. Energy - to exude success and intelligence and value to the market / clients
6. Creativity - to find a new way when it looks impossible
7. Resilience - to let failure roll off the back...and get back up.

If they are not present in a sales force, you will likely hear finely articulated and likely very accurate REASONS why we can't get new business. Reasons like:

"We need new products at lower prices to compete,"
"There's no way they will change, they've been with xyz for 20 years,"
"They only buy on price,"
"They have to put everything out to bid."

And if you buy those reasons blindly you will spend lots of money and time on R&D, Operations, and becoming "cheaper."

QUESTION: If you had the perfect product, at the perfect price, at the perfect time, with the perfect service, in the perfect economy, whom would you not need?  Exactly: salespeople.  

RULE: High-income producers are there to FIND A WAY...when it looks impossible.   

TIP: Remember all those attitude seminars you've sent your people to in the past; the ones that threw around the words listed above? You will now need to DEMAND them if your sales force is to win. The invisible "gray matter" that separates winners from "at-leasters" is now critical. A great sales force is more valuable today than in a long time.

You probably already have some winners on your Sales Force who you can't even see.  Demanding individual regeneration and growth will make them visible. 

Coffman Group
(913) 236-9055 | 6300 Glenwood, Suite 200, Overland Park, KS 66202

Serving the Metropolitan Kansas City/St. Louis Area 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Relationship Selling: Is it Dead?

You might know someone who says "NO way, we sell on relationships, that's how our industry works!"

Okay, but have you ever heard the following from a long term client or prospect...

"we really appreciate the work you did on this project and you had a really good program, but for this one we really thought that ABC Inc. had a better XYZ and their price was a little better than yours..." or "our corporate / regional office told me I had to use ABC, there was nothing we could do about it...out of my hands!"

Relationships are indeed important, providing a chance for last look, a trust level when our price is higher but worth it, and established beach head for clients not to change. However, in the last few years the person we have the relationship with now may not be the ultimate decision maker and the priority for dollars is under far more scrutiny that it has ever been before. There is enough scrutiny to void a long term relationship.

Relationships that turn into "friendships" can also interfere with the account manager's ability to ask tough probing questions for fear they will hurt their relationship, only to find out later what they should have asked earlier. Relationships can seemingly put us in a "box" that traditionally defines what we can and cannot do, only to hear after the decision something like "oh, we didn't really think you guys did work like this, so we didn't really include you..."

Solution: Have good up-front verbal agreement with your relationship clients that "when we lunch we lunch and socialize, but when there is work at hand, I need your permission to be a skeptical stranger that's re-learning what you really need for the first time and ask tough questions to see if it's work / service we should even be bidding on, is that okay?"

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Due to Demand, New Full Day Boot Camp Sessions added.

We are now accepting registrations for our Boot Camp Sessions March 30 and April 19, 2011.

Who should attend? People committed to becoming more effective in generating revenue.

Coffman Group Advanced Level Sales Bootcamps are designed for professional salespeople, consultants, and others who need to sell their products and services.

The sessions runs from 8:30-4:30 and handout materials are provided.

More information can be found here.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

20 great reasons to NOT SELL MORE!

  1. No one called me back...
  2. I'm juggling a lot of balls...
  3. I have to deliver the projects and lots of client service to do...
  4. There is no growth in our industry right now, I can prove it...
  5. It's not part of my role...  
  6. You can't do cold calls in our industry...
  7. I'm really busy....
  8. People know what we do...they will call me when they need me...
  9. My business is special...
  10. We can't hire anyone else...
  11. Those kind of people won't work at our company...
  12. Good delivery is how I make my sales...
  13. The economy is bad...
  14. Too many other people "bidding" on this...
  15. Even if I sold it we couldn't service it...
  16. Our product is inadequate...
  17. They'll never pay our price...
  18. They already work with someone else...
  19. My quota's too high so what's the use...
  20. I already hit my goals...
These are all true and legitimate, which is why they're so powerful and effective. But here's the problem, NO ONE CARES!

If you find yourself stating these excuses, or as a manager buying these excuses, just STOP. No one cares.

Growing sales as a company today likely requires taking market share. Has your company ever done that? Does it know how?

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Coffman Group
6300 Glenwood, Suite 200, Overland Park, KS 66202
(913) 236-9055

Monday, November 15, 2010

We Owe it to Our Prospects to Help Them Make Decisions

Most of you know we’re the people CEO’s call when the company needs more sales. What you may not know is we also enroll individual salesepeople who want to increase their sales production.

Recently I met a successful medical equipment salesperson who was out of work for the last four months. Emotionally, he looked like he had been dragged behind a truck. Understandable.

Here is the sequence of our interaction:

He was referred of course, but not much more than “check these guys out, it’s really helped me.”

We had a short phone call, whereby at the end I said to him “I will meet with you for 50 minutes, and we’ll make a decision to either enroll you or part as friends. Are you okay with that?" He said, “sure.”

40 minutes into that meeting I asked, “what would you like to do?” He started to say “well, I need to think about…” I said to him in my most nurturing manner, “no, I think you and I need to make a DECISION. It can be NO or it can be YES. I’m okay with either.”

So he said YES, and we enrolled him.

I saw him just a week later and he told me “I really want to thank you.” I said “for what?” He said “for making me MAKE A DECISION… I was really STUCK and now I feel like I’m in motion again... I’m learning; I’m re-motivated…”

Was making a decision at the end of my meeting just for me and “making a sale”? No, we both benefited.

So, here are a couple suggestions and rules for avoiding non-decision paralysis:

1. Decisions aren’t life or death. They just lead to other decisions.

2. “Think-it-over” people, tend to get a lot of think-it-over’s, decision- makers tend to get decisions.

3. If someone has a need you can fix, you owe it to that person to help them make DECISIONS!

4. A decision can be NO or it can be YES. Think-it-over’s clog the mind and the pipeline.

5. Understand your Sales Cycle and know WHEN the time is for a DECISION. This seems simple, but you would be surprised how many salespeople don’t really know when to get a decision. They simply keep presenting and following up, hoping some good will occur.

- Casey Coffman

Friday, November 12, 2010

Are Your Prospects Listening to You?

Are you telling them everything you have to offer? Your features, benefits, and unique selling propositions?  Are you using all of your passion and energy to deliver your message and convince them to buy?  Oooh bad sign.  They'll buy from you when they tell you and you listen:  really listen.

-Rick Burgess