sales tips

5 Red Flags That Show Your Sales Process Sucks

After 30 years of working with clients to solve problems that are killing their revenues and profits, I’ve identified a number of red flags that tell me loud and clear something is wrong with how that client is selling. The good news it isn’t hard to fix.

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Don’t be a Saleshole. The Five Attributes of Poor Salesmanship.

The last few weeks I have been subjected to a lot of bad salesmanship. It got me thinking. Surely people don’t mean to be rude, pushy or full of proverbial bovine excrement. But somehow, they still excel at being a total saleshole. So, in the interest of enlightenment and relieving my frustration, I share my top five saleshole attributes. 1. If you never take no for an answer and instead resort to stalking prospects with repeated calls, unannounced visits, hanging out at the bar next to the prospect’s office, lurking around his yard at night – you might be a Saleshole.

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What do customers really want?

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that your customers don’t really care about the latest whiz-bang feature of your new whatchamathingy. I’m also willing to bet they don’t really care that much about how big you are, how small you are, how nice your office is, what your vision or mission might be or how awesome your last ad campaign was. Over the course of doing many surveys and focus groups with executives and physicians, one thing has been absolutely consistent. Customers want you to solve their problems. This could mean reducing costs or hassles (which usually incur added costs) or increasing revenue. But promising these broad concepts isn’t good enough. You need to understand your prospect’s and customer’s problems on a case-by-case basis. And you need to be up front about whether you can truly solve these problems. For some of you, this might[…]

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The Way Not To Sell

I got this email today. It’s important that you know I’ve never talked to this person. I have heard of the company (who’s name has been changed because I’m feeling charitable at the moment) but this was sent to me cold. I’ve added my comments. The original email is in yellow. (I’m just sharing this with you – I didn’t respond to the email. Yet.) And, before you comment, yes, I’m a big jerk. Dear Pete, Thank you very much for the opportunity to speak with you regarding Acme Business Services. I haven’t given him the opportunity – I’ve never spoke to him or heard of him. Nice trick though. I’m happy to introduce myself as the Regional Director of Business Development for your area. Good for you. I’m glad you are happy. Do you want a cookie? I have been serving the market research industry for over a decade[…]

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The single most important thing you can do to grow your business.

First let me say that I’ve been guilty of what I’m about to share with you. In the past, as the founder and owner of a successful marketing firm in Milwaukee, I thought I knew everything I needed to know about what my customers want and how they buy. My biggest mistake was thinking that my company could do no wrong when it came to servicing clients. I thought we were the best and I knew my clients knew it. The sky was the limit and my ego was pushing this limit to the max. The irony is that my team regularly developed and executed customer surveys for our clients but we never did one for ourselves. After a particularly perplexing client phone call, I called my friend, Bill Lowell from Business Development Directives and asked him to perform executive interviews with a random sample of my clients. Something wasn’t[…]

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