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5 Must Haves Before Your Sales Call

  
  
  

5 Must Haves Before Your Sales CallYou try tirelessly to get a sales call. The sales call is your best chance to shine and make a deal happen. You know how important the sales call is—so you really don’t want to mess it up. Whether you’ve had the meeting set up for weeks or days, or the client just called for an impromptu meeting right now, the last thing you want is to be unprepared.

It doesn’t matter how busy you are or how short notice it is, you need these five must haves before you go into any sales call. Failing to acquire any one of these things can drastically reduce your chances of making a good impression and closing the sale.

1. Goal

The first thing you must have when walking into a sales call is a goal. Why are you even there? Are you trying to sell something right on the spot? Is it just a “let’s see how it goes” meeting? Are you trying to gather up some additional information so you can effectively close a sale in the future? Or are you just trying to build a relationship with a new client? Knowing why you’re actually going to the sales call will inevitably set the tone for the whole meeting—all of your conversations will be based on this goal.

2. Company Research

Many mediocre sales reps believe that they can go into a sales call and wing it without having done their company research first. However, this just isn’t going to fly. Your client will be downright insulted if you don’t know the first thing about him, his company, or his needs. Plus, you’ll be spending most of the sales call trying to gather the most basic information about the company and wasting valuable time that could be used on selling instead.

Before you meet with anyone, you need to get online and research what the company does, what kind of buying power the person you’re meeting with has, and what kind of needs he has. Only then can you start to come up with solutions.

3. Solutions

You’re passionate about the products or services that you sell. That’s admirable. However, clients don’t want to hear about all the awesome benefits your offerings have. Frankly, they just don’t care. Like everyone else, they’re selfish. They want you to focus on them and their needs. So instead of listing off product features, go into a meeting with solutions. In the research phase, you identified the client’s needs and problems, so now you need to come up with solutions. You need to convince the buyer that your product or service can solve his problem.

4. Qualifying Questions

Getting a sales call is a great start to a business relationship. However, it doesn’t mean you’re going to get the sale. To make sure you’re not wasting your time going after a lead that isn’t going to buy, you need to have some qualifying questions ready to ask during the meeting. If you haven’t been able to figure it out during your research phase, ask who the decision makers are, what their typical process is with vendors, what their timeline is, and what their budget is. The answers will give you insight into which stage of the buying cycle they are in, so you can decide how much effort to put in now and in the future.

5. Next Action

Chances are you’re not closing a deal during one sales call. In order to move the buyer to the next stage, you need to come up with and implement a next action. Don’t put it on the client to follow up—this is up to you. At the end of the meeting, make plans for a demo or a sample to be shipped, or solidify a date for the next meeting or phone call to discuss the offer further.

Job Search Readiness Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.


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7 Steps to Overachieving in Sales

  
  
  

7 Steps to Overachieving in SalesOverachieving in sales allows you to generate more leads, close more deals, and bring your company more revenue. This can lead to some benefits for you too: overachieving can get you a higher salary, bonuses, praise, and financial stability. You can get by as a mediocre rep, but you’ll never achieve the big time if you don’t step it up a notch.

Sales success isn’t an art—it’s a science. There are proven, notable ways to achieve it. It just takes commitment, motivation, and the right tools. Overachieving starts with the rep—so here are seven steps you can use to become the very best rep you can possibly be. Don’t settle for mediocre ever again.

1. Do the grunt work.

You might be successful when it comes to closing deals—but that’s not enough. Overachieving means doing the grunt work, too. This is the stuff that no one really wants to do, that most people procrastinate doing, or that mediocre reps avoid doing altogether. Whatever your grunt work is—cold calling, networking, paperwork—you need to do it to be the best.

2. Push yourself beyond your comfort zone.

Most people tend to stay within their comfort zones. It’s natural. However, if you don’t push yourself to try new techniques, talk to buyers who intimidate you, or call up people when you’re not comfortable on the phone, you’re not going to get very far. The best reps push themselves to achieve accomplishments they never thought were possible.

3. Strive for personal development.

The most overachieving reps are constantly striving for personal development. They’re reading marketing and sales books and blogs, they’re attending seminars and courses, and they’re working on and adjusting their sales techniques when needed. They’re always trying to get better, gain new knowledge, and develop—both personally and professionally.

4. Follow a sales process.

Overachieving doesn’t come with hit-and-miss techniques. It comes with a strategic, step-by-step sales process. Following a great process is the only way to get consistently high results. It allows you to know exactly what to say or do in any selling situation—whether on a cold call, during a first meeting, or with a long-term customer. It helps you generate leads, negotiate prices, and follow up, too. For most overachieving reps, their sales process is their secret weapon. Followed religiously, it can help you through any situation so you can succeed.

5. Do the “extras”.

Whenever you think you’ve thoroughly done your best, go just one extra step. Call that prospect one extra time, reread that proposal again, read one extra blog post a night, and write one extra email to your long-term customer. Going just one-step further with whatever it is part of overachieving—don’t just settle for a good job if you can do even better with a little more effort.

6. Be accountable.

Overachieving while selling doesn’t come easy—especially when your efforts aren’t being monitored and reinforced. If you’re often left to your own devices, don’t let yourself slack because of it. You should always hold yourself accountable for your actions and take responsibility when things go wrong. It’ll make it a lot easier for you to correct your actions if you admit that you might have screwed up.

7. Ask for help.

The best sales people ask for help when they need it. It’s important to come to terms with the fact that you won’t know everything and you won’t be able to deal with every situation on your own regardless of how much training or work you put into your sales career. A great rep will ask for help when they know it’s necessary—whether for pricing, negotiation, or something else—and be responsive to the training, help or coaching that is offered.

If you want to start overachieving in sales, you can start by following these seven steps. They’ll get you on your way.  

The B2B Sales Essentials Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.


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5 New Sales Strategies You Can Incorporate in 2015

  
  
  

5 New Sales Strategies You Can Incorporate in 2015With the new year just around the corner, savvy sales people should be on the lookout for new sales strategies to capture customers’ attention, new sales strategies to improve their efficiency, and new sales strategies to bring happy customers back for more. There’s never been a more exciting time to be in sales, as the playing field evolves and shifts at an ever-increasing pace. If you’re lacking in sales strategies for the new year of selling, don’t despair—we have 5 sales strategies for you to try that should see you in a much stronger position this time next year.

Step Up Your Analysis. 

Rigorous analysis has always been important to top sales companies, but as we move into the future such analysis is becoming mandatory. Why? Because with so many solutions available to make the process easy, your competitors will be checking their metrics, refining their processes, and edging you out if you do not step up your game in turn. There are several levels of analysis to encourage—analysis of the team by hard metrics and soft, personal analysis of performance metrics and sales process, etc. The better your sales people know themselves, the better they can perform. This also benefits any and all other sales strategies you put into motion.

Focus on Customers. 

One of the strongest sales strategies of 2015 continues to be a strong emphasis on customer service. Word of mouth, already a contender for the most important factor in sales, continues to grow stronger with each passing year. A single dissatisfied customer with no publication apparatus can reach millions of potential customers with their complaints. No company can afford a model that sells hard and disregards the Buyer’s Remorse phase of the sales process today. Your team should focus on sales methods that leave customers glad they bought, because positive word of mouth works just as potently today as negative. If your buyers are happy, you’ll have more buyers (and those buyers will buy again). Simple, effective, efficient. 

Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up. 

We’ve discussed the importance of satisfying customers, now let’s discuss another of those staple sales strategies that few pay attention to: the follow up. Getting your sales team to follow up consistently can be a real chore, but when done properly—and paired with proper customer-satisfying behavior—few things can result in better sales numbers. A customer who has bought from you before should be considered the most eminently qualified lead imaginable. If you have something they want, and you satisfied them before, they’ll almost certainly buy again. This is one of those sales strategies we all know works, but many avoid for nebulous reasons. Tell your team to get over it and follow up.

The Right Man for the Right Job. 

Not all sales people fit every sales task, and making sure everyone’s performing at their personal peak efficiency should be a high priority—especially as the pace of sales and customer demands increases with each coming year. Putting a person with the wrong instincts in the wrong sales position will have increasingly deleterious effects on your company’s bottom line, as situations that test their instincts and leave little room for consultation become ever more common. Matching personnel also becomes easier with each passing year, as you have endless supplies of data to consider--make your other sales strategies count!

Delivering Custom Service. 

The nature of modern businesses makes customized solutions mandatory for anyone looking to surpass their competitors. That means that to whatever degree is within your power, you should endeavor to offer options, choices, decisions that allow your customers to better serve their own customers. Of course, this isn’t a strategy solely suited to B2B transactions—consumers enjoy choice as well. This may be somewhat beyond your control, depending on the nature of your company, but insofar as you can provide choice, do so—this will only be more important moving forward! 

A CEO's Guide to The Future of Selling

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.


5 Steps to Hiring the Perfect Sales Rep

  
  
  

5 Steps to Hiring the Perfect Sales RepAt its simplest, a business is a system where goods or services are exchanged for money. Without sales, you don't have a business, so when you're selecting a sales rep you need to make sure you choose the right person.

The success of your business is perhaps more closely tied to the performance of your sales rep than it is to almost any other person barring the CEO. This is because as long as you are selling and making money you have time and resources to fix any other problem with the business, but if your sales team is not performing then no matter how well everything else is running you'll soon run out of money and be forced to close.

With your business at stake you will of course want the perfect sales rep, let's look at five tips for finding and hiring him or her:

1. Define your perfect sales rep

The perfect person for a sales role in one business will not be perfect in another business. Different personalities, sales techniques and attitudes may be attractive, useful in one industry and company, and destructive in another. Your perfect sales rep might be someone who can slot into an existing team environment and work well with those around him or her, or your company might favor lone wolves; self-motivated and ambitious. Unless you define what you are looking for you might find yourself getting exactly the wrong kind of sales rep.

2. Offer a salary and/or commission appropriate to the role

The perfect sales rep can probably walk into almost any sales job in your industry - so why should they work for you? To get the best you need to offer an attractive package that pays well and offers incentives that will attract high-performers. Typically, a brilliant salesperson will expect a good amount of commission so that their performance is matched by the rewards they receive.

3. Advertise in the right places

If you want an experienced and brilliant salesperson there is probably no point advertising in your local paper! This is much more likely to attract people who are unsuitable for the role, which will use up your valuable time, as you have to sift through hundreds of poor applicants. Instead, look to industry-specific magazines, sales magazines and websites that attract high-quality job seekers.

4. Interview effectively

No matter where you advertise your job and how specific you are about the qualities you need you'll still get people applying who are unsuitable. The interview is there to help you find out who the real contenders for the role are. To find your perfect sales rep you need to ask questions that will reveal whether someone is qualified for your job. For example if one of the personality traits you desire is the ability to solve problems then you need to ask questions that will reveal whether the person being interviewed has a talent for problem solving or not. For example, you might ask 'Describe one time in your career when you came up against a seemingly insurmountable problem and how you overcame it'.

5. Offer them the job!

The last step is simple - offer them the job! If this perfect sales rep is currently out of work and looking for a job, they'll probably be offered interviews at a number of different companies. If you've found someone amazing who has everything you could possibly want don't wait around before offering them a job - otherwise they may go somewhere else!

Hiring the perfect sales rep isn't difficult - you just need to know who you're looking for, attract them with a good offer and then interview effectively to make sure their in-person performance matches their CV - then hire them!

Job Search Readiness Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.


How to Find the Right Sales Rep

  
  
  

How to Find the Right Sales RepWith the countless ways available for the modern hiring manager to find talent, choice paralysis may become a real danger when hunting the perfect sales rep. That’s putting aside even the issue of quality, which can vary wildly between two superficially identical candidates. There’s a reason top companies maintain full-time hiring departments (or outsource to high-end staffing agencies)—finding the perfect sales rep, or any other staff member, takes experience and effort. Fortunately, there are a few things anyone can do to bring them closer to finding their company’s best possible sales rep, getting that sales rep hired, and keeping them on the team.

Necessities

First, you need to identify necessary skills and traits for your sales rep. Think about this carefully—even if you need someone who can perform a particular task or use a particular piece of software, you don’t necessarily need to hire someone who already has that skill. If it can be taught and learned in a reasonable timeframe, it probably doesn’t belong on your necessities list. This step is as much about culling wants from the needs list as it is establishing concrete mandatory criteria—you’ll want that flexibility moving forward.

Wants

Once you know what you need, it’s time to consider what you want. Wants can entail professional skills, pedigree, personality traits, experience in tangential industries—anything you can think of that would be nice to have in an employee, figure it out. Taking the time to consider these and establish a rough priority for them will go a long way in sifting through your candidate pool after the initial needs-based culling.

Overlooked Traits

Before you finalize your list, make sure you’re not overlooking the obvious. Many companies hire without considering issues such as the likelihood of an employee staying with the company. And you definitely want to consider culture and team issues—if you hire a genius sales rep who worked at a major food company, their skills will be great, but will they work well with the sales rep in the next office that started their career with your tech start up? Remember that you’re not just looking to grab individuals that meet your criteria list, you’re looking for team members; people that will make your entire company operate at a higher level.

Securing Talent

Finding the perfect sales rep is only the first step, of course—you need to get them on board (and keep them, but we’ll get to that). First, consider where they’re coming from and where they’re likely going, career-wise. You can get more talent for your dollar hiring recent graduates, but you might end up in an arms race trying to hold onto them. The trick lay in offering compensation that’s more enticing than money, and a work environment that keeps employees happy with where they are. Benefits and vacations will secure talent far more effectively than dollar values, at the end of the day.

Keeping Talent

Keeping turnover low, and thus keeping that superior sales rep working for you, means having the right leadership. This also helps to develop your talented sales rep into a top-tier performer, so there’s no reason to excuse poor leadership. That means challenging your sales rep with goals that are attainable but take effort, praising success and keeping failures private, and generally working to foster a positive relationship without coddling. Good coworkers, personalized incentives (tickets to a favorite team’s game, time off for a marriage anniversary), and the like all play a role as well. Remember, a sales rep should be equal parts scientist and artist, utilizing their charisma and their knowledge of the science of sales together to succeed. A miserable sales rep simply cannot achieve that.

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SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.


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5 Reasons Why Sales People Make the Best Sales Recruiters

  
  
  

5 Reasons Why Sales People Make the Best Sales RecruitersDid you know that some of the top sales recruiters actually started their career as sales people? The role of sales recruiter is heavily linked to that of the sales person and when you consider the two in detail you realize that the roles are actually very similar. Let's look why...

1. Recruiting is a form of sales - you are selling both a job and a prospect

A sales recruiter's job is, on paper, simple: find a candidate and sell the job and company to them while simultaneously selling the candidate to the sales manager. This makes recruiting effectively a double-sales role - while a salesperson typically only has to convince one party to make his deal work, the sales recruiter needs to convince two! Both the sales manager and the potential employee need to believe the deal is in their best interests. This means that both the successful sales person and the successful sales recruiter need very similar skills in sales and persuasion.

2. Sales recruiters need to understand brand management

A sales recruiter interacts with many people outside of the company - some of whom they will have to disappoint when they decide that person is not suitable for the role they are seeking to fill. This means that sales recruiters need to be experts at brand management. The person being turned down needs to go away from the meeting with a positive image of the company despite not being offered a role. If that person goes away with a poor image of the company, they may damage brand through speaking about the experience on social media or elsewhere. A sales person has a similar role as a custodian of the company's brand - through each of their interactions with clients they can either enhance or damage the brand - which will be good training for if they ever become a sales recruiter.

3. Key understanding of the sales role

A great sales person already instinctively knows what is needed to success in sales. By applying this understanding as a sales recruiter, they can quickly weed out applicants who simply do not have the characteristics required to be a star sales performer. When trying to recruit people to the role they can also speak from experience of what the role entails and the benefits it brings to the potential employee.

4. Key understanding of the team and company culture

A sales person can be especially good as a sales recruiter if they have been promoted from within and are recruiting for roles within teams that they have worked with already. Their understanding of the culture and personality of the individuals and teams means they quickly decide if someone is a good fit. The better they understand the dynamics of the sales team the more tailored their set of candidates will be for the hiring manager to look at and the more likely it is that a successful candidate will be found and accepted.

5. Both sales and sales recruitment are all about people

Ultimately, the sales recruiter is simply trying to understand and fulfill a need that a person (the hiring manager) has. Equally, the sales person is trying to understand and fulfill a need that the customer has. The sales recruitment builds on the same skills of customer profiling and empathy that make many sales people successful.

Are you having trouble finding a great sales recruiter? Next time look out for one who has already had sales experience - they'll understand the roles they're trying to fill that much better than someone with no sales experience.

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SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.


[Infographic] Why It’s So Hard To Hire and Retain Great Salespeople

  
  
  

why hiring sales people is toughSales positions still rank among the hardest positions to fill, according to Yahoo! News. Many salespeople don’t stick around very long after being hired, and the notorious turnover rate in sales means that companies often lose money spent on onboarding and training for new employees.

It’s hard to find a single way to calculate the money lost in sales turnover, but it can range as high as 200% of an employee’s annual salary. New hires don’t even make a lot of money while they’re around. Typically, 20% of sales people produce 80% of the business, which means that the leftover 80% (usually new hires) only bring in 20% of business.

Looking at these numbers, it’s easy to think that the high turnover results mostly from hiring bad salespeople, or from some kind of scarcity of good salespeople.

But he turnover rate is high for a number of reasons--and surprisingly, it’s not because existing sales reps just can’t cut it. According to a recent survey of departing sales reps, 32% were leaving because of bumpy relationships with their first line managers, 27% were leaving because of inadequate pay, and 21% were leaving because there weren’t enough opportunities for promotion.

This implies that companies are hiring and losing good employees along with bad ones. Often, you can find both the best and worst salespeople in jobs that are commission only. The best salespeople enjoy commission because they can earn more that way. The worst salespeople bank on the fact that they’ll be paid purely on results, since no one can complain they’re paying them more than they earned.

It’s easy to fall into the trap of hiring commission salespeople like this who, on paper, won’t cost you much, but only one in 50 deals are struck after a first meeting, and your mediocre sales rep is likely to be one of the 44% of people who give up after just one “no.” An estimated 80% of non-routine sales will only occur after five follow-ups, so you could be missing out on big clients by keeping that poor salesperson around.

According to a recent study out of Harvard Business School, top sellers accept 100% of responsibility for their results. They possess above-average ambition, drive to succeed, and customer empathy; additionally, they don’t take all those no’s personally. Looking for individuals like this and focusing on keeping them will usually result in a much stronger sales team.

Why It’s So Hard To Hire and Retain Great Salespeople

How to Make Sales Compensation Work For Your Company

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.


How to Manage a Young Sales Team

  
  
  

How to Manage a Young Sales TeamHaving a young sales team in business today can be extremely advantageous. The younger generation grew up learning and using the latest technologies, so they're more open to change and can easily adapt. However, they're also used to instant communication, instant results, and constant gratification. It can be difficult to get them to slow down.

To be able to use a young sales team to its fullest potential, you're going to need to know how to manage them. Old managerial tactics used with older generations aren't going to work with younger sales people. You need a complete strategy overhaul.

Drive

Younger people are increasingly living at home at older ages. They're waiting longer to get married and have kids, too. So typical financial compensation might not be what drives this new generation of sales people. To manage your younger sales team, you need to figure out what drives them.

If it's personal achievement, then create sales incentives for them to strive for. If it's glory, create morale-boosting celebrations for big sales. Younger people aren't as content just receiving a high salary anymore, they need more. They need deeper satisfaction to be happy at a job.

Connections

The younger generation can also be more self-involved. In today's social selling business, it's important to coach your young sales team to empathize with clients, to create strong relationships, and to focus on the customer's needs, rather than their own. This is especially true when it comes to buyers or consumers who are much older than them. They might find it difficult to connect and build relationships with older generations since they'll likely have nothing in common with them.

Patience

It's all now, now, now with the younger generation. But you know that your sales team needs patience to see results. Your reps need to learn to focus on a task and to keep with it until they see results, because you understand that success doesn't come overnight. Constantly switching tactics or strategies because they're not working fast enough can result in devastating losses. Patience is vital in sales.

Ambition and Creativity

Younger sales teams are more ambitious. They know about all the latest technologies and they're interested in using them. It's important as a sales manager to let your sales people experiment with the newest sales tools and advancements. You never know which new winning strategy they might come up with if you allow them to be creative. Don't stifle their ambition or creativity.

Flexibility

A younger sales team will not work as well with the typical 9 to 5 work day. Your sales management should focus on coaching your sales team to be results-driven. As long as they're accomplishing goals, you shouldn't be boxing them in with specific work hours. They'll work when they're most productive, whether that's in the middle of the night or bright and early in the morning.

Trying to stop them will only frustrate them and you won't be able to keep them on staff if you don't provide them with flexibility. With a results-driven sales team, you can set weekly goals and allow your sales team to accomplish these goals on their own schedule.

Recognition

The millennial generation grew up with constant recognition. They received trophies for any activity under the sun, even if it was just for participation. They've grown up expecting and needing this type of recognition. So give your young sales team frequent feedback, whether it's a high five or a party or gift for a big sale, it will be just enough to motivate them to work harder since they'll feel gratified and appreciated.

The millennial generation is drastically different from any other generation. If you're managing a young sales team, you'll have to throw away most of your old management tactics and reinvent a new strategy to connect better to a younger generation's behaviours, attitudes, and work styles.

5 Traits of a Great Sales Manager

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.


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How to Respond to a Dissatisfied Sales Customer

  
  
  

How to Respond to a Dissatisfied Sales CustomerIt’s happened: You’ve received that angry, email, call, or walk in. Your sales customer is furious. You sent the wrong shipment, your delivery was late, your product didn’t work as expected, or you overcharged. He’s vowed never to do business with you again!

Whatever the case may be, you know that dealing with a dissatisfied sales customer is a difficult job. You’re usually not prepared for it—it’s like a dam just flooded unexpectedly and you have to scramble to fix it. You want to do your best to resolve the situation but you just don’t know what to say. However, with a little tact, you might be able to fix the problem and keep that sales customer.

Here’s how to respond to a dissatisfied sales customer.

In His Shoes

It’s easy to go on the defensive when you’re faced with an angry sales customer. Every bone in your body is telling you to fight back—to explain that it wasn’t your fault, to blame someone else, to blame him for the mix up. You absolutely without a doubt need to fight this urge. This is the last thing that will appease your sales customer. Instead of being defensive, put yourself in his shoes. Understand where he’s coming from. Focus on the customer’s feelings, not your own.

Listen

Now that you’re in an empathetic mindset, listen to your sales customer’s concerns. He wants his problems to be heard, he wants you to understand how bad you messed up, and he wants to air out his grievances. Tell him that you want to discuss the situation, let him get it out, and nod along to show him you’re actively listening and truly care about rectifying the situation. Don’t try to butt in with excuses or explanations.

Now, Repeat

To show him that you’re really listening to his concerns, play them back to him. Repeat what he’s just told you to make sure that you really understand the situation and his position on it. Use a calm, neutral tone and be objective in your statements. This will help him calm down knowing that you agree with the problem that needs to be solved.

Apologize

Even if the situation wasn’t your fault at all—as the sales person, you’re the front man for the organization with this sales customer, so you need to apologize. You’re the one representing your company at this moment, so you need to be apologetic for the entire organization.

Find a Solution

There’s usually a solution to every problem. Here’s the time to present the solution you’ve come up with that could make your dissatisfied sales customer a little happier. If you aren’t sure what solution to offer, ask the customer what you can do to solve the issue. Give him the power to decide what he wants so you can please him. If his solution is impossible, at least you have a starting point for an alternative.

Take Action

Once you’ve come up with a solution, you must take action. A dissatisfied sales customer will not take kindly to an empty promise. Whatever you’ve promised him, make sure you can and will deliver on it. Give the sales customer a play-by-play of every step you’re going to take to resolve the situation immediately so he can feel like he’s in control of the situation and knows you have a plan of action to make the resolution possible.

Follow Up

Once your solution has been activated and the situation has been resolved, don’t end the conversation there. To rebuild the relationship and bring back the trust you’ve lost, follow up for the next couple of days to make sure everything is still OK. If possible, go above the sales customer’s expectations now and give him a discount on his next order, a gift certificate, or a hand-written apology to try to keep his business.  

The B2B Sales Essentials Assessment

SalesForce Search specializes exclusively in sales recruiting across North America and serves small, medium and Fortune 500 companies. SalesForce Search helps companies find qualified sales people who will have an immediate impact on their sales targets.


How to Lead Sales Negotiations

  
  
  

How to Lead Sales NegotiationsLeading sales negotiations can be stressful for even the most seasoned professional. A delicate situation can either make or break a sale. With so much on the line, it’s natural that it could be nerve wracking. However, if you understand the dynamics surrounding sales negotiations, you’ll be better at leading them, so you can come up with a situation that is agreeable for all parties.

Here are some tips on how to lead sales negotiations.

Mental Preparation

When you go into sales negotiations, you need to have the right attitude. If you act fearful or desperate, your client will be able to see it and take advantage of it. You need to go in there mentally prepared, confident, and assertive so you can stand by your position firmly.

Objectives and Position

Speaking of your position, what is it? Where do you stand on the issue? What are your objectives when going into sales negotiations? Simply stating you want to close the deal isn’t good enough. You need to decide specifically what you want if you’re going to go after it.

Customer Wants and Position

Understanding your customer’s position wants and needs will help you negotiate a sale that is good for both of you. Does he want a lower price or does he want to lower the quantity? His position is based on his wants and needs. Does he need to stay within his budget or does he need a product by a certain date? Is service, delivery, or price his priority during these sales negotiations?

Requirements

You’ll both have your wants and needs, but you need to understand what box you’re both working in. This is the set of requirements that cannot budge so it isn’t worth negotiating about. If a customer needs a product by a certain date so it can make its flyer or sale, that’s a firm requirement. Instead of focusing your sales negotiations on the date, focus on the other options and alternatives that you can actually work with. If the budget requirement is firm and the client simply can’t pay what you’re asking for, work around it with payment plans or lower quantities. Abiding by these set-in-stone parameters will allow your sales negotiations to be more meaningful.

Negotiable

Before you go into any sales negotiations, you need to decide exactly what’s negotiable and what isn’t. Analyze the situation and see what can bring value to the customer without costing you too much money. You don’t want to negotiate your deal down to nothing. You should both be making compromises, not just you, so that everyone can be happy.

Work Together

Sales negotiations don’t need to be stand offs. Working together in the negotiations can build trust and ensure that the process is moving forward. Brainstorm creative ideas and solutions together that can make the deal work.

Price

When it comes to price, set it high and explain the value of the offering. If you start with a lower price, you won’t have much wiggle room when it comes to sales negotiations, which can make you lose in the end.

Reciprocation

Any negotiation you offer should be reciprocated. Don’t offer anything without getting something in return. For example, if your client wants a lower price, give it to him only if he buys a higher quantity. If he wants a shorter lead-time, up the price to make it possible.

Walk-Away Point

You know what both of your wants and requirements are. If you’ve tried to come up with alternatives and you’ve brainstormed ideas but nothing’s working, know when to walk away. Sometimes, the deal just isn’t worth it.

Written Agreement

If you have come to a negotiation, write it down in an agreement so it is binding. You don’t want to go through the trouble of sales negotiations just to have them back out of the deal.

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