Qualifying prospects: Interview them like you would a job applicant

Dave Clemens

When sales reps qualify a “suspect,” they’re usually of two minds. On one hand, they hope that the person will turn out to be a real prospect. On the other, they’re concerned not to waste time on somebody who’s never going to buy. You can’t eliminate this mental conflict entirely. It goes with the territory,…

Beware of these 7 ways you might unintentionally confuse buyers

Dave Clemens

I talked to a customer the other day who was confused. We hadn’t done anything to confuse him — thank goodness. But he and I got chatting and he opened up about how another organization, one with which we don’t compete, had. This fellow had been a customer of Organization X for several years. He’d…

Negotiations getting personal? Try these 5 tactics

Dave Clemens

The real goal, assuming the buyer isn’t just cranky or having a bad day, is to knock you off your equilibrium and soften you up for concessions. How can you counter such tactics so as to reestablish your power and get the negotiation back on course?

Ep. 26: Complex Sales: The Talker

Michael Boyette

When working on a big sale, it helps to have someone on the inside who can sing your praises to the decision makers. So how do you find that person? Watch the new Selling Essentials Minute to find out.

Don’t let a buyer — even an important, busy one — keep you waiting

Dave Clemens

It’s probably happened to you; it certainly has to me. You’ve finally gotten a meeting with that extremely busy buyer, after waiting three weeks for her to clear 45 minutes in her schedule. Now, though, you’re sitting there, 10 minutes after your session was supposed so start, and time keeps ticking by. Her assistant assures…

Dang! Mild swearing can make you more persuasive! Who the heck knew!

Dave Clemens

Ask 100 sales reps whether you should swear during conversations with customers, and probably 99 would say, “No way.” And it’s true that turning the air blue is not the best approach if you want to get the sale. R-rated content is best left for the movies. But you may surprised to learn that several…

With difficult customers, do this anyway

Dave Clemens

Think back to a time when you got off the phone with one of your difficult customers who finally turned you down for the sale, after protracted discussions, or when you left their office. You probably felt something like, “Well, at least I won’t have to deal with that ball of aggravation anymore.” That’s the natural…

How to get close to customers — but not too close! — via social media

Dave Clemens

Want to creep your customers out by employing social media as a sales tool? There’s an app for that. No, seriously, there’s not really an app. But it’s all too easy to come on like a stalker if you misuse social media in your sales efforts. And, needless to say, most customers don’t react well…

How to start off with buyers when they already know a lot about you

Dave Clemens

As selling has evolved, so too has the role of the salesperson — and buyers. Long gone are the days when a rep could hope to get by as a mere order-taker. And the days when anyone can make a living by being a “talking brochure” — a reciter of a product’s features and benefits…

Want to lose sales? Try the end-of-period, desperation close

Dave Clemens

Let’s face it: Sales is a numbers-driven occupation. The sales rep — or sales manager — who can afford to ignore quotas, targets and goals is a rare bird indeed. But as you might suspect, when you allow yourself to become entirely numbers-driven, you’re setting yourself up for some big mistakes. Proof of that point,…