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Managing The Opportunity Pipeline

November 5th, 2013

Every organization should have someone in the Sales Management Role. A very
important program will focus on the needs of Sales Management with programs
that will encourage sales activity, proposal generation and forecasting! The
more customers you can find and submit proposals to – the more money comes into the organization! Click on “Get Pipeline Up” link below for free video tip!

Get Pipeline Up!

Lower Costs and Get Sales Up!

If you are a small to medium size company,
you may want to first hire an inside sales person and then move them into
outside sales. Keep your costs of sales low while building a pipeline of new
business (proposals, estimates) opportunities. As cash flow improves, you can hire a replacement for inside sales and personally tackle the role of sales manager. If you are a medium-to-larger size company, you will want Sales Managers to improve because they directly impact cost control and revenue generation.

Growth should be managed so it does not strain your organizations ability to deliver on expectations!

Free Sales Tip ! The Persuasion Equation

October 20th, 2013

In this video (click on The Persuasion Equation Charlie shows you a faster way to get your point across with….

  1. Stimulators
  2. Motivators
  3. Responders

Have you ever wondered if there is a better way to grab attention and to motivate a busy buyer to meet with you? If so, then watch this video to see an example of how to communicate in a more effective manner.

The Persuasion Equation

You may also want to visit the website www.target10towin.com to learn about a 30 Day Challenge to help you save time (uses one hour a day) and make more money (increase your commissions)!

 

Wows, Webinars and Whoops!

June 1st, 2013

Who loves to get a WOW!?  All sales people love to get a WOW! Sometimes, in our zest, we become too feature-function-gadget driven and forget about involving our buyers. Yes, we get a WOW, but we might also overwhelm our audience.  At least when we are face-to-face with our customers, we can see their reactions!

Selling Challenge:

  • If we host a web meeting or webinar, we cannot see their faces.

On a recent Webinar, this happened to me.  My blue tooth headset was charged, the 4G internet connection has 4 bars and like magic, I am presenting my solution to a
buyer hundreds of miles away. It was a competitive situation, so I wanted to show as many capabilities and exclusives as possible.  In the online meeting, the buyer did say WOW
a number of times.

Later that week, a fellow sales person called to discuss this particular buyer. Because he is selling a non-competitive product, we network, share sales tips and try to help each other succeed. He told me that a mutual customer shared that she was overwhelmed by my products and services.  Yes, this is the same buyer that participated in the Webinar. In the demonstration, too many applications came at the buyer in too short of time.

  • Yes, I got WOWS – but at what cost? Whoops! I had made a basic selling mistake.

My friend provides vital feedback to me that webinars are a great time saver but are very dangerous because you cannot judge the buyer’s reaction. His advice was to slow down and ask questions like:

  • “How do you see that working for you?”

The risk of having experience is that we become very confident. That confidence can often lead to mistakes and we can spiral into a negative sales cycle.  My friend shares his  feedback and helps me avoid losing an account. I call the buyer immediately and set up a follow up call. This time, the pace of the call was slower. The review of capabilities became interactive and customer focused. There were questions like:

  • “Where will this help you?”
  • “Why?”

This WOW junkie had to tame the urge to show too many features. The enthusiasm is there, but tempered. Now when I get on Webinars, I avoid the trap of talking too much. Questions help slow the pace and get the buyer involved. It takes focus, concentration, questions and listening.  These are some of the fundamental skills of selling. Just because we have new technology does not mean we stop practicing the fundamentals. If we forget this lesson, the result is WHOOPS! Mistakes can cost us customers, commissions and even,careers. This career sales person just got a lesson he will not forget.

If you have a tip, please post a response. If you have a question, please post that or visit facebook/salestrainer4U for a steady stream of tips and relevant sales education.

Friday – “Everybody’s Working for the Weekend!”

September 16th, 2011

Back in the day – there was a band called Loverboy. They had a song that still gets airtime called “Everybody’s working for the Weekend.” Friday at 5 you can often hear this on F.M. stations – but I have never heard it on satellite radio.  For my sales activities, my week normally ends with filling out my expense reports and creating a to do list for the following week. In regular times, I would be whistling this iconic song and head to the golf course around 2 P.M.

But, recent economic developments have changed the possible meaning of this song.

All across America, I meet people who are working the weekends to make ends meet. Perhaps these folks want to pay off debt – or maybe they are trying to make the mortgage payment. Some are starting companies without the help of a bank. So literally, “Everybody’s Working for the Weekend.”

So like these fellow Americans, my work week is not over – just the end to my day job.

On the weekends, I’ve been building a new company:

  • Activities included getting organized as an S Corporation (Legal Zoom – it’s easy!)
  • Creating Web Sites (Use a professional – it’s not cheap, but well worth it)
  • Writing a book and producing an audio

At first, it seemed like a grind and a drain on expenses. Then, I took a more long term approach. If I just did two things each weekend, every month would yield incremental improvements, The investment was less because I was making small changes. Best of all – it’s tax deductable!

So yes, “Everybody’s Working for the Weekend” – and so am I.

Living the Dream – One Cupcake at a Time!

August 14th, 2011

The bakery shop was in a small shopping center, just up the street from my customer’s office. As most sales people know, bringing food to a meeting is a goodwill gesture. As I ordered a dozen cupcakes, a young Latino baker asked me for some tips on selling. I picked up a cupcake and asked her “can you put a logo on this cupcake?” ‘Si’ she replied.

Bakery Sales Plan:

“Pick a business in the area and put the company logo on the cupcakes:

• Drop off a box of the branded cupcakes – made especially for that company
• Tape the bakery business card to the box
• Ask to speak to a manager
• Suggest that they use you for meetings, birthday parties and other events.”

She was a little confused, so I took a cupcake and drew the logo from the business across the street – a popular soft drink distributor. Then, I pointed at the sign and said ‘logo.’ Her eyes lit up; she picked up her icing tool and made a beautiful replication of the logo. Then, she showed her husband, who spoke better English. He got very excited and I explained to him that taking samples to nearby businesses would probably lead to orders. There were several businesses nearby and I suggested that they visit all of their neighbors.

The young couple hugged and then said something that I wasn’t expecting:

• “We want to live the American dream.”

Well – I’m a softy and this almost choked me up. What I thought had been a simple errand turned out to be very inspiring to me. I had offered a little assistance to a small business, and in return, I had the American Dream reignited in my own heart. As I turned to leave, they were already at work – living the dream – one cupcake at a time!

The New Alphabet of Selling

July 29th, 2011

Some people say the A-B-C of selling is ‘Always Be Closing.’ Those people aren’t selling much in an economy that demands due diligence and with buyers who are very sophisticated. After a very competitive sales situation, this veteran discovered a new alphabet of selling:

A = Attitude
This week, a customer booked a competitor to come in on the same date and time as my appointment. My first reaction was disbelief and then I felt insulted. ‘Wait! – I thought to myself… this is a negative thought.’ Then, I pretended to be the buyer. I was going on the sales call with another team member, so I called her and said ‘if I was in their shoes, I’d shop around too.’ Then, we developed a plan to present our competitive advantages. You may be a novice or a veteran – but maintaining a Positive Mental Attitude is not a place you arrive at. It’s a state of mind that accepts a challenge with a ‘can do’ spirit.

B = Belief
If you really believe that your product is best, there is no limit to the hard work that will go into earning the business. When we arrived – I could hear the competition in the next room. My heart was beating – and yes, I was a little nervous. My colleague and I were both very determined and neither of us wanted to lose the business. When my buyer arrived, I looked him in the eye and said ‘I drove 6 hours to tell you that I want your business.’ Our research and preparation then kicked in as we showed how our solution would lower costs and improve staff efficiency. There was passion in our presentation – we believed.

C = Commitment
You have to show a customer your level of commitment before you can expect loyalty from the buyer.
• In our sales situation this week, it took a lot of hard work and travel to secure the business.
• Our internal support teams provided supporting information.
• Our management team provided some incentives for the customer.
• There were lots of little agreements that ultimately lead to getting the business.

We left the account and found a local restaurant for lunch. While eating, my team mate and I talked about how our momentum had changed when we focused on the customer’s point of view. It energized our efforts and unleashed our belief in the solutions offered. Our commitment lead to a positive, constructive agreement that everyone could live with. We earned the business and it was exhilarating!

Hours later, I arrived home after a 16 hour day. You’ll get no clichés out of me or fancy closing lines. Selling is hard work – period.

 

 
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