How to protect your price and improve customer loyalty in 99 words.

You can protect your price position only if you establish a value-based difference that is sustainable.  The essence of your difference must be predicated on the things you will and won’t do (your strategy requires “yes” and “no” binaries such as  ‘Yes, I will work with people with an appetite for change.’ or ‘No, IContinue reading “How to protect your price and improve customer loyalty in 99 words.”

12 Ways to Sell More in 2020 in 99 Words.

 Reduce the number of opportunities you pursue. Increase the amount of time you spend selling versus the amount of time you spend doing busywork. Improve your presentation skills. Sell the things your customers demand rather than what you supply. Treat selling as an opportunity to serve, not an an opportunity to convince. Terminate weak engagements.Continue reading “12 Ways to Sell More in 2020 in 99 Words.”

Improve your prospecting results: Pattern recognition.

The world’s best chess players don’t play move-by-move chess.  There’s no “10 moves ahead” aspect of their games.  Chess, like life, is too organic and the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.  Instead, the world’s best study patterns and use their prodigious gifts to memorize the most successful responses to theseContinue reading “Improve your prospecting results: Pattern recognition.”

How to sell more in 2020: Improve your presentation skills.

“Technology is a glittering lure.  But there’s the rare occasion when the public can be engaged on a level beyond flash.” — Don Draper An expertly crafted, deftly delivered product pitch is one of a salesperson’s most important assets.  Yet it’s easy to forget that educating a customer and inspiring a customer to the pointContinue reading “How to sell more in 2020: Improve your presentation skills.”

5 Critical Questions to Ask When Prospecting.

The questions a salesperson asks during a prospecting process should provide insights regarding the prospect’s attitude and willingness to make a change from one supplier to another.  For example:  In terms of time, money, and risk, what business problems will working with us solve for you? (the prospect self-selects financial, structural, or security concerns thatContinue reading “5 Critical Questions to Ask When Prospecting.”

An argument for collaboration: Technology is erasing the lines between inside and outside sales teams.

Inside sales teams and outside sales teams have traditionally sold in different ways.  Inside sales teams sold over the phone or fax or walk-in orders.  Face-to-face interaction with customers was transactional and generally uncomplicated.  Outside sales teams sold primarily in person and were responsible for larger volume accounts.  Existing and emerging technology, however, is challengingContinue reading “An argument for collaboration: Technology is erasing the lines between inside and outside sales teams.”

Preventing Attrition Part 3: Not Every Customer is a Good Customer

Attrition happens when companies underestimate the importance of customer selection.  Sales teams often spend time and money on customers who don’t share the same strategic priorities–the things they will and won’t do to win.  Strategic misalignment results in  customers leveraging suppliers for pricing and largess with no intention of developing an authentic long-term relationship.  AContinue reading “Preventing Attrition Part 3: Not Every Customer is a Good Customer”

Preventing Attrition Pt. 2: Time and Bad Planning

Attrition occurs when a salesperson fails to appreciate the scarcity of time–especially with medium to high value clients.  As a result he may take a client’s time for granted, haphazardly plan his meetings, and succumb to complacency’s assurance: “Relax, you’re no worse than the competition.” For example: A salesperson is assigned to a medium orContinue reading “Preventing Attrition Pt. 2: Time and Bad Planning”

Preventing Attrition Part One: Avoid the Competency Trap.

During a recent conversation a colleague speculated as to why client attrition happens.  “Sometimes the competition buys the business,” he said,  “and we might be complacent at some point.”  These can be deal breakers.  Most customers, however, are willing to forgive the occasional service gaff or price negotiation unless it goes uncorrected or unaddressed–especially ifContinue reading “Preventing Attrition Part One: Avoid the Competency Trap.”

Up next: Amazon begins beta testing audio ads (slide deck in post).

Amazon is currently beta testing audio advertisements.  According to Ad Age magazine the decision is partially an effort to compete with Pandora and Spotify.  Anonymous sources also report that the beta-test is potentially a new way to shape consumer behavior.  Lululemon, one of a small number of invitation-only participants, hopes that consumers will buy moreContinue reading “Up next: Amazon begins beta testing audio ads (slide deck in post).”