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Articles---Selling Skills

Call a Lot of People!

This article, complete with key statistics, refers to the total number of sales contacts — i.e., telephone calls, personal visits or appointments, emails, proposals, or letters — that we make each day; and which brings-about an important question: when involved in professional selling, does call volume matter?

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Selling is a process, not a one-time event, and it is best to adopt the proper long-term perspective if we'd like to achieve long-term success. To accomplish this, we must recognize the importance of follow-up, which might be considered the "glue" that keeps the selling process together; there's also another innovative use of the word GLUE you might find useful...

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I'm Calling Because...

Most people agree that when making outbound prospecting calls we only have a few seconds to make an impression on our prospects... hopefully it will be a good one!

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Key Accounts & Long-term Success

Many business owners, managers and sales people tell us that eighty-percent of their business comes from twenty-percent of their customers. The Pareto principle…

Whether this perspective accurately describes your business situation or not, it is still likely that some concentrated percentage of your customer base generates the majority of your sales revenue. Similarly, some concentrated or relatively small percentage of your current and prospective customers most likely makes-up the majority of your new business pipeline.

Given these facts, it is wise to create a “Key Account Program...,”

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Know Your Customer

I don't think it was by chance that Arthur "Red" Motley's well-known and frequently cited fifteen-word definition of the selling process begins with a reference to customers. So what does this really mean for today's sales professional and how might it benefit you?

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Long War - Sell Value

Life is a long war, make sure you survive. Professor Hickey, who taught my sophomore Business Law class at Boston College, constantly used this expression.

The same is true in sales or a business life... make sure you survive. And the key to selling and surviving is effective pricing and the perception of value.

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Making the Most Out of Inbound Sales Calls

In order to stand out from the competition when handling incoming sales calls, today's successful sales professional must go beyond merely providing and processing information, and must consistently “engage” each caller - repeat customer or new prospect alike!

One proven means of accomplishing this involves six simple steps and one good habit.

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Making Things Happen

Most people tell us they would like to become more persuasive.

Well, there is a story about baseball great Ted Williams, a Boston Red Sox legend who most people rank among the best hitters to have ever played the game. In the story, a newspaper reporter said to Ted, "Gee Mr. Williams, you're the best hitter in baseball... the best ever... you must be a great student of batting." To which Williams replied, "No, son. I'm a great student of pitching!"

Read on to see how this can help you become more persuasive...

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The Myth of Super Salesmanship

Despite the many myths about "super salesmen," there is simply one unyielding truth.

It is the purpose of selling and marketing professionals to identify the types of businesses or people who are truly prospects for their products; it is also the purpose of sellers to further qualify those real prospects to determine which are most likely to buy within an acceptable timeframe. This means...

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Pavement: 5 Ideas for Achieving Goals

The road to "you know where" is paved with good intentions! As each new year arrives ‘tis the season for, among other things, New Year’s resolutions.

In the business world, many of us will resolve to pursue revenue growth in one way or another, possibly via new business development, and our hearts will tell us that this year we’ll succeed; our intentions will be good! However, many of January’s goals will sadly join the ranks of the unachieved...

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Proactive Business Development

If you would like to grow your business or sales territory, try making a true commitment to the proactive components of your business development plan.

We all know this is hard work. A good start is to create an annualized business development plan, but simply crafting the plan isn’t enough! We must commit to the plan as well as to the proactive components of the plan.

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Selling In a Slower Economy

Economic shifts and the associated changes in buying attitudes demand reactionary modifications of selling activities.

In slower economic times, people become more cautious. Not only are "buyers" harder to find, but they also take longer to buy and tend to buy form the safest sources. So, be ready to adapt your team’s sales habits...

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Selling Presentations

If you ask most salespeople about how they are "doing," most will respond by telling you about the several pending deals they are working on and what the odds are for each one to close.

And while closing business is a good thing on which to be focused, the fact is that closing is really a natural occurrence - a simple, logical step in a process, as pointed out in the previous article - if set up properly. One proven way of doing just that is to structure and deliver a selling presentation that "sells."

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Selling's Six Golden Words!

So you want to know the successful salesperson’s MAGIC words - the ones they use to get all those orders? Then here they are, in the magic incantation...

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Time to Sell!

As a sales professional, how much time do you actually spend selling?

A mid-sized New England company that considered itself highly sales-driven recently discovered their sales people spent less than three-hours per day interacting with customers or prospects. They also discovered that nearly 25% of the average sales representative's time was spent on company-required paper work. You might be surprised by a work study... Are you spending most of your time on the most important activites?

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Tradeshow Selling

Exhibiting or attending a tradeshow is a common component of many business development efforts. The experience can be fun, but lots of sales managers will tell you that "shows" can be expensive, and in many cases yield nothing. Here's a plan to make tradeshow selling more productive...

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What are You (Really) Selling?

It is every sales person’s job to distinguish his or her products and services from those offered by the competition. And in a business world crowded with competitive offerings, an attempt to accomplish this by selling features and price most often fails.

You might be surprised at how difficult it can sometimes be to tell the difference!

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