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Sales Articles | Sales And Publishing

The most dangerous letters in sales are RFP. Respond, and you lose…One of my clients emailed me an RFP (request for proposal) that they received yesterday. It came from a company who had never done business with them and who they had never even called on. They know my rule. RFP means one of two things. It’s either ‘Real Fools Participate’ or ‘Request For Probing’.
Real Fools are the ones that read the document and believe every word. It says, “All questions must be in writing” and “Contact with the company must be through the purchasing office”. If you play this game, you are falling into the trap of thinking that this makes a level playing field for all bidders.
First of all. I hate level playing fields. I like the ones that are sloped down hill, in the direction I am running. Unless you are up against a government contract where public laws dictate the rules, there is almost no reason for a company to ‘level the playing field’ or for you to accept one. In fact, this type of ‘level playing field’ works against both companies.
The buying company loses because they only get answers to the questions they thought to ask and the seller loses because they can only respond to the limited information provided. Second, it’s rarely level. Unless the company started yesterday, they have a rapport with another vendor. That vendor probably helped write the RFP.
Do you call that level?
So what’s the solution? First, you must understand that the probability of winning business from responding to an RPF where you have no relationship with the client is so close to zero as to not be worth discussing. Unfortunately, everyone has won one or two and believes that they are the exception. Studies done by the Waterhouse Group and others show otherwise.
Once you believe in the low probability of winning these RFP’s, you are ready for the solution.
1. Refuse to look at an RFP as an immediate need to begin preparing a proposal. It’s not. In fact, in most cases, you would be better off making another cold call than responding to the RFP’s terms.
2. Redefine the RFP as a Request For Probe. That means, the prospect has sent up a signal flare that identifies a source of potential business. Treat it like any other hot lead.
3. Assuming that the business outlined in the RFP is business you want or that it could lead to business you want, start digging.
Start digging for what?
Contacts within the company who will talk with you. Call the CEO or have your CEO call their CEO. Call department heads or managers of departments affected by your offering. Look high and low for as many of the buying influences as you can find. Ideally, get to the economic buyer and others who will be involved in this decision.
Information about the company that indicates how your solutions might help their business. Search their web site for press releases and articles. In the example I cited above, we determined that the prospect had just undergone a major cost-cutting layoff to save the company. While some might say that this indicates a price shopper, I say no. The buyer may be a price shopper but the CEO is a survival shopper. Show the CEO how you can save the company and they will find the money to pay you.
Clues to the competition and how entrenched they already are in this deal. Who wrote the RFP? Did the competition write it? Who are they using now? Who have they used in the past. Whose names are in the guest log at the main desk? Google them and see if they show up as a client of your competition. Many companies post case studies on their web site. That’s great stuff if you can get it.
What is the intended buying process? How do they intend to compare vendors and what criteria have they established. How did they do it last time or how did they choose vendors for another product or service. Often sales people who sell other products to your prospect will be willing to fill you in. It’s worth asking.
Chapter 7 of “The Team Selling Solution: Creating and Managing Teams That Win the Complex Sale” addresses many of these issues. If you work out regularly or drive a lot, get the audio CD version available on Steve’s website.
If you understand consultative selling, and most of you should, you get the point. You can’t solve a customer’s problem by presenting a solution to the problem they mailed in. Any more than a doctor should write you a prescription to cure an ailment that you self-diagnosed.
Refuse the urge to respond to RFP’s until you know the lay of the land. When you change your approach from Real Fools Participate to Request For Probe, you’ll write fewer proposals and make more sales.
About the Author
Stephen Waterhouse is Principal and Founder of Waterhouse Group. They specialize in helping companies increase their sales and profits. He can be reached at 1-800-57-LEARN or steve@waterhousegroup.com.

How often have you heard this expression in sales? It usually tends to come from management when discussing a sales representative who perhaps is “coasting” and could be doing a lot more to enhance their activity and their sales.
It is also applied to management when role changes and rotations are discussed. “Give him a new role. That will waken him up and then we will see just how capable he his!” That was an actual comment from a senior manager.
So, what is this “comfort zone”? How does it occur? And how can you prevent it?
The “comfort zone” is a state where a representative or manager is “comfortable “ in their role. They are doing enough to “get by” and there is little pressure or even interest from management as there is a degree of performance, albeit only average.
Many managers who are in their own “comfort zone” will not challenge this situation even though they know that the person concerned could achieve a lot more. The manager’s “comfort zone” tells them that it is perhaps too time consuming or counter productive to upset the “apple cart” and that letting the status quo remain is the best option. “You can always get them at the year end appraisal” was one ridiculous comment I heard from a fellow manager. So here we have an example of a representative and a manager being in their respective “comfort zones”. End result – average performance and average results at best!
“Comfort Zones” are the result of two inadequacies:
• Lack of personal motivation and focus
•  Lack of good management
Many reps go through the “motions” and are not motivated to strive for excellence. They do enough to get by. They hit their call rate but never excel at sales probably because they “detail” as opposed to sell. In other words they do not work at their selling capability. Having said that, company policies are such that contact rate appears to be more important than the quality of selling skills with the result that many representatives rush about attempting to hit call rates,rather than actually striving towards sales targets! It must be stressed at this point that not all representatives are like this and top performers all have a focus on their sales targets with the result that call rates tend to be hit automatically. Many managers do not challenge the representative’s “comfort zone” due to a lack of influencing and coaching skill, although the root cause tends to be more in the fact that the manager’s ability to set good “stretching” objectives is limited in the first place.
So how can a manager prevent the sales representative or junior manager from slipping into a “comfort-zone”?
Manage expectations right from the start of the working relationship. In other words a “contract” should be put in place between the manager and the subordinate ensuring that both know what exactly is expected of each.
Ensure that the representative’s or junior manager’s objectives are clear, fully understood and have a degree of “stretch” so that they have to challenge themselves to work at them. Make them too easy to achieve and before you know it – they are in the “comfort zone”. Make them too difficult and they disappear, either into the “fear zone” or you lose them.
Continually monitor their progress against their objectives. Not from a distance, as many managers do, but within regular field visits. Time should be taken out from visiting customers to review the business plan, the individual’s personal objectives, and their development plan. The role of the manager is to coach and guide their subordinate to greater performance and success. This cannot be done from behind a computer screen or from an unnecessary meeting. Make time for people!
The “Comfort Zone” is not a productive place to be for representative or manager. This zone leads to inaction, and poor, or at best, average results. All managers should be attempting to get, and keep, their reports in the “motivated and productive zone”
About the Author
Allan Mackintosh is a Professional Management Coach specializing in coaching and developing people skills in new and existing managers. He can be contacted on 00 44 (0)1292 318152. His website is www.performance-am.com

In a recent individual sales coaching session, my client
was lamenting her inability to grab the attention of a
particular prospect. She described the many letters she had
sent and the information contained in the letters.
Essentially her letters were lists of all the services
(features) offered by the company and concluded with a
tepid, “I will call to follow up.” The letter could easily
have been written by any of her competitors. She sent it
out in a white envelope. It was not surprising that her
prospect had not responded.

While I generally recommend against sending letters before
a prospecting call, if you are sending a letter, you must
make it interesting. If your letter could be written by any
of your competition, there is nothing to differentiate you
from your competition. This rule applies for crafting your
telephone prospecting script as well. If you say the same
things that your competition says, you will be perceived to
be the same as your competition. Another important facet of
letter writing is getting your letter opened. Thousands of
books have been written on this subject. If the prospect
does not open your envelope, they will not read your

I mentioned to my client that all correspondence from my
office goes out in purple envelopes. And prospects notice!
I’d like to be able to tell you that I knew to use purple
envelopes because I am a marketing genius. The reality is,
I accessorize.

When my first book, “Cold Calling for Women” came out I
sent out hundreds of review copies with media kits. The
cover of “Cold Calling for Women” is deep purple and hot
pink. Clearly, I needed deep purple folders for the media
kits and then, just as clearly, I needed a purple envelope
to complete the ensemble. (It annoys me if my nail polish
and lipstick don’t match.)

I called every reviewer to say that I was sending a review
copy of the book in a purple envelope. Then I sent the
review copy and media kit in the purple envelope. After
that, I would call to confirm that the reviewer had
received it. An amazing thing happened. Reviewers receive
thousands of books every week, yet every reviewer with whom
I spoke knew exactly what book I was referring to.

Since that time, I have continued to use purple envelopes,
for correspondence, for
contracts, for media kits… it doesn’t matter. Prospects
always know which package is mine, because it’s in a purple

My client, however, was horrified. “No, no, no,” she said.
“Our clients are staid and conservative. It’s an ‘old boy’s
network.’” I found this to be an amazing statement, since
there is no way my client, “Sally,” would ever fit into an
“old boy’s network” no matter what she did. There’s a
demoralizing goal: Trying to desperately to fit into and be
a part of a group that will never accept you.

I said to Sally, “At this moment in time, you already do
not have that prospect as a client. The prospect has
ignored every attempt that you have made to contact them.
There is no risk here. You have nothing to lose. It’s time
to do something different. In order to be noticed you must
do something noticeable.”

My first advice to Sally then was to stop sending letters
and try to reach the prospect directly by telephone.
(Making sure that she had first crafted a compelling
script.) When asked by the secretary, “What is this in
reference to?” Sally could truthfully say, “We’ve had

If the direct telephone approach didn’t work then Sally’s
next option might be to try another letter. But in this
case she would need a compelling, interesting, benefit-
centered letter. She would also need a mechanism (purple
envelope or something else) to ensure the letter being

But there is a bigger issue here: So many people are afraid
to take risks, to try something different or to be a little
different. The difference can be minor; like purple
envelopes or it can be conceptual as in the way you speak
about what you do. But whatever that difference is, don’t
be afraid to embrace it and use it to your advantage.

The status quo is the sales professional’s biggest enemy.
If your prospects do not perceive a difference between what
you have to offer and what their current vendor offers, you
will not get the business. You must make that difference
visible in ways great and small. That means doing, being,
showing difference.

Wendy Weiss
“The Queen of Cold Calling”
Sales Training/Sales Coaching
**Gain confidence, reach more prospects, close more sales
and make more money.**

P.O. Box 20664
London Terrace Station
New York, NY 10011

You can be a million miles apart in the same bed and as closeas the next heartbeat even though you are separated by hundreds of miles.  Have you ever had the experience of feeling really separated or far apart from your partner even though you were within touching distance?  Have you ever felt really close to someone that you see infrequently? 

How can you explain this paradox?  I have had both experiences in my life on more than one occasion of experiencing both of the above circumstances and I have tried to determine the root cause of these feelings regardless of the distance that separated me from my loved one’s.  I can’t give you a definitive answer, but I think I am getting a lot closer to the heart of the issue.

There are several types of closeness or distance.  There is: physical, emotional, sexual, spiritual, and psychological.  I have felt really close emotionally to someone yet a million miles apart physically.  I have felt a great valley of distance between a spouse spiritually yet a closeness in family or financial agendas.  If you are in a relationship and do not feel intimately close to your significant other in any of the above positive ways I suggest you consider why you may be experiencing this distance. 

The real problem here is to be close in some ways and distant in others.  For example if you have a greater need for more affection, emotional closeness or romance and your significant other has a greater need for more sex or physical closeness, you will never bridge this gap focusing on a totally unrelated common area in your relationship such as money, career or children. You will tend to bring the unresolved resentments, baggage, expectations, guilt etc. into the other areas of your relationship.  You may not do this consciously, but you will certainly do it unconsciously.

There are a number of causes to these feelings of distance and or closeness.  They can be summarized in just 3.

1. Expectations.  You want or expect a certain type of attitude, response, action, word, feedback from your spouse and it doesn’t (hardly ever or never) comes.  You have an expectation and are constantly disappointed. These unfulfilled expectations can lead to a variety of resentments, then anger and finally apathy.

2. Needs and/or desires.  Your significant other has no interest in knowing, understanding or satisfying some or any of your basic emotional or physical needs or wants.

3. Your needs, wants or expectations are unrealistic, and you therefore set yourself up for disappointment wherever you go and whomever you are with.  Remember, your responses to anything are not the responsibility of another person, just as their reactions are not your responsibility.

During a break in one of my recent seminars I recently overheard a conversation between two female friends.  One person said, “the passion is gone in our relationship.”  This simple comment caused me to think for a few minutes.  Passion is not in a relationship any more than fun is in a job.  If there is no more passion in the relationship it is because there is no more passion in the two people in the relationship.

A relationship doesn’t have feelings or emotions.  People in them have these things.  So if there is distance or closeness in your relationship it is not because these are in the relationship but because they are in one of you.

Make it a great week, Tim Connor

Visit my website <http://www.timconnor.com>

Call me if you want to discuss hiring me for a motivational keynote or custom in-house sales or management seminar for your next meeting or conference.  I still have openings in my 2006 schedule.

If you are planning a retreat or strategic planning event in 2006, give me a call.  I’ll help you bring reality and accountability to the process.

Copyright: 12/2005 Tim Connor, CSP, Connor Resource Group Inc.

REPRINT PERMISSION: Feel free to reprint this tip in way as long as you give proper credit to the author: Please include all of the information that follows in your credit line.


Speaker, Trainer, Best Selling Author
Connor Resource Group Inc.
Box 397  Davidson, N.C. 28036 USA
704-895-1230 (voice) 704-895-1231 (fax)
web site: www.timconnor.com

Not knowing the right thing to do at the right time can
destroy you.

I was reminded of this over the weekend.

You see I finally got around to raking the pine needles off
my back lawn.

I had put off raking for a few weeks, partly out of denial.

Denial in that if I didn’t rake the needles, then maybe,
just maybe, the damage wouldn’t be so bad.


Unfortunately though, the damage really was bad.

So bad that it potentially could cost me thousands of
dollars next spring to fix the damage.

What I am taking about?


A mole, or a family of moles, has infested my back yard.

It started about 6 weeks ago, but I didn’t know what to do.

I stamped down the tunnels a few times.

But the tunnels kept coming back. And they would get longer
each time.

I kept thinking that if I just stamped em down, they’d
eventually stop tunneling.

I mean it worked before for me. I stopped these little
competitors just by stomping on their tunnels a few times.

But this year was something new.

They were out in force.

Tunnels. More tunnels. Longer tunnels. Tunnel branches

I have so much mud mixed in what was a nice lawn that now my
backyard looks like our local high school football team held
practice out here everyday for the last week.

I may need to replace about a third of the square footage of
my lawn now, cause once you get mole tunnels in there, the
moles keep coming back and reopening the tunnels looking for
fresh underground food.

And this all happened because I didn’t know the right thing
to do when attack came.


This reminds me of a seven figure deal I lost back in 1998.

I knew my company and my products really well.

In fact I did a lot of qualifying and interviewing of my
prospect before I committed to pursue this sale.

I had a blind spot though.

One of my competitors was a better fit than I was.

But I didn’t know this.

I thought that based on the wants and needs that were most
important to the customer, I had the best fit.

So I pursued the sale very aggressively.

I made it to the short, short list. I was in the final two.

As the deal got closer to the end I started hearing things
from the contacts I had inside the account that dismayed me.

The customer’s technical staff was beginning to believe that
my competitor had a better solution for their key technical

I was shocked!

I eventually lost the deal on this one major issue.

I lost and was outsold due to my blind spot.

I thought I knew my competitor well, but it turns out I

I thought I knew the right thing to do at the right time,
but I didn’t.

I thought that the competitive intelligence that my
marketing staff gave me was up to date, but it wasn’t.

So eight years ago I lost a million dollar battle to
competitor I thought I knew.

And last week I lost 1/3 my back lawn to a little competitor
I thought I knew.


Both of these stories illustrate the perils of letting
urgent activities rule you rather than focusing on important

Had I gotten on top of my mole problem right away, I could
have limited the damage.

Had I researched my competitor more fully eight years ago, I
could have changed strategy or pulled out of that deal and
saved the lost sales time.

Just thinking things should be the way you want them to be
does not make it so.

As you close out your 2005 sales year, check and double
check your blind spots.

Otherwise you might find a mole in your next deal that costs
you a huge commission!


Forget giving away your time, attention and knowledge to
prospects who don’t purchase. Learn 5 simple skills that
will enable you to close significantly more in the same time
that you are working now. No more cheesy closing lines.

Go to http://www.industrialego.com/persuasive-selling.htm

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How To Fill Up A Notebook With Effective Sales Tips
And Creative Selling Techniques Every 90 Days

Where does your inspiration come from?  Where do your new selling ideas,
creative selling techniques, and no-brainer selling tips come from?

What say you, “You have better things to think and worry about.” I hope
you’re not thinking like that.

Good intentions are a dime a dozen.  Hoping things will happen is 180°
from making things happen in your sales territory.  Personally, I believe
one of the biggest differences between “Winners” and “Whiners” is that
winners have the ability to learn how to learn.  This enables them to
absorb and adapt to new challenges.

“Whiners” make excuses and keep hoping for things to get better.  At the
same time however, they close the door to new ideas.  If you’re not buying
and reading books and listening to CDs on a regular basis you’re closing
the door to new ideas.  If you don’t attempt to hang out with people smarter
than you – you’re closing the door to new ideas.

A lot of people in sales wouldn’t recognize a good sales idea unless it
kicked them in the seat of their pants.  For example, when you read this
newsletter, are you only looking for ideas that are neat and tidy and
100% ready and relevant to your business?

A few weeks ago, in my letter #212, I told you how my father lost 30 pounds
in two months.  Unless losing weight is a high priority for you – you probably
paid little if any attention and most likely deleted the e-mail letter.

After sharing my father’s system for losing weight several weeks ago I heard
from Jeff G.,one of my subscribers.  It seems that Jeff had a physical in
November which indicated high blood sugar levels and the need to lose some
weight.  Jeff also said, after reading about my father’s system he joined a
health club on December 1st and is happy to report he has worked out
13 consecutive days.  He said he also eliminated bread and sweets from his diet.

He also said, “Your father motivated me to get off my ass and get back
into shape.”

When you become a receptor for new sales ideas you start to see them everywhere.
Maybe you don’t need a weight loss system.  On the other hand maybe you you
could use a system for making appointments, getting past the gatekeeper,
handling the price objection, doing proposals, and I think you get the picture.

In the future when you’re reading articles and listening to CDs always ask
yourself, “How can I apply these ideas to my work.”  Don’t expect good ideas
to be handed to you on a silver platter.  Sometimes you have to chip away at
something that’s right front of you until what you’re left with is a “Gem of
an idea.”

Most of the ideas in my newsletters are not designed as “One size fits all.”
Instead they are easy to bend, twist, convert, chop up etc. until your left
with something that fits you like a glove.

Talking about gloves, I’m writing this Thursday at 10 p.m. on my way back
to Tampa on United flight 1581.  It’s been cold, windy, and snowing and I’m
glad I’m headed back to Palm Tree country. I can put the gloves and scarf
away until my next trip back up north.

When I get back to Florida, I’m told ‘Tis the season to be jolly, I’m
planning a six-day Christmas sale for all my learning tools.  You’ll hear
about the Day One Christmas special later today.

Finally, here’s an idea that can open the floodgates to new ideas for you
on a daily basis.  Read tomorrow’s newspaper with directed intensity – especially
the business and sports sections.  Sit down with a cup of your favorite Java
and focus your reading and try to pull out one idea you can use in your
business every day.

And be sure to write down your new ideas in your “Idea notebook.”

Imagine if you did this every day.  You don’t have to be creative to spot
new ideas – you simply have to be receptive to them.

Let’s go sell something . . .

Jim Meisenheimer

PS 1 – Hey, in case you missed it I’ve scheduled a TeleClass on January 5th
titled, “Strategic Simplicity – Seven Ways To Get Off To A Rocket-fast Stock
In 2006.” Here’s the lin*k to sneak a peak at more information now.


I’ve got a question for you Shamus.
Do prospects ever abuse you?
No, I don’t mean physically.
I am asking about abuse of your time, your knowledge, your
I’m wondering if any of the following has ever happened to

You called a decision-maker and left a message, but they
didn’t return your call.

A prospect asked you to “call back in a month”… and then
when you did call back, the prospect wouldn’t take your

You were told “great presentation, thanks. We’ll think it
over and get back to you”. But somehow they don’t get back
to you, nor do they take your phone calls or ever return
your messages.Yeah, sales can be tough.

So why does this happen?

This happens when you let the buyer control the sale.

I know, because this used to happen to me to.

You see all buyers have a system for buying, even though the
vast majority doesn’t know that they are using a system.

Let me give you an example of what I mean.
You called a decision-maker and left a message, but they  didn’t return your call.  A prospect asked you to “call back in a month”… and then  when you did call back, the prospect wouldn’t take your  call.  You were told “great presentation, thanks. We’ll think it  over and get back to you”. But somehow they don’t get back  to you, nor do they take your phone calls or ever return  your messages.Yeah, sales can be tough.So why does this happen?This happens when you let the buyer control the sale.I know, because this used to happen to me to.You see all buyers have a system for buying, even though thevast majority doesn’t know that they are using a system.Let me give you an example of what I mean.

 Listen to this article online right now...
 http://www.industrialego.com/persuasive-selling.htm Look for red audio buttons in the box near the top of the page. ............................................................

Imagine right now that you were going to purchase a brand
new Flat Screen High Definition TV.

You know, one of those really cool ones that is only a few
inches thick, hangs on your wall, and turns your living room
into a movie theater.

What would you do first?

You would likely get your Yellow Pages, and maybe the Sunday
newspaper ads and you’d start calling around.

You’d pick probably 3 stores to go look at Flat Screen TVs.

And when you got to the first one, you’d tell the
salespeople that you were “just looking”.

You’d play with the TV, ask to see how it works, what the
resolution was, etc.

Then when the salesman tried to close you, you’d give some
excuse about it being late, and you had to get home or some
other lie to get yourself out of there.

Then you’d go to the your next 2 stores and complete this
cycle again a couple more times.

Let’s look at what you just did as a buyer.

First you misled the sales rep:

  You told the salesman that you were "Just Looking", when
the truth was you were a qualified HDTV buyer.

Then you pumped the salesman for information.

You took his time, his knowledge and his generosity to get
what you wanted from him.

Then you lied to the salesman about it being late, that you
had to get home and you’d “Think About It” some more later.

Of course you were polite and you thanked him for his time.

Finally, you kept your options open because you didn’t give
this salesperson (or any other of the other ones) any
commitment whatsoever.

Yes, you do have a system for buying. Everybody does.

In fact were all experts in buying. Few of us are experts in
selling though.

And that’s the problem.

You see you and I came into the sales game with a lot of
mental baggage.

Clichés such as…

  "The customer is always right"


  "Customer service is king"

…have done tremendous damage to your ability to sell

Let’s look at the way the most new salespeople sell.

First, you build rapport using small talk:

  "How's the weather?
"How about them Yankees?
"You went Penn State... so did I!"

Then you “Make A Presentation”.

You tell the prospect about all the great features and
benefits of your product, and why he should purchase it.

Next it’s Time to “Ask For The Order”.

You “close” the prospect and now get ready because…

Here come the objections!

This is supposed to be a good thing by the way. It’s
supposed to mean you are getting closer to the sale.

Yeah right!

Finally when the buyer tells you “I Need To Think About It”,

You say “OK” because of course, any reasonable person would
need to think about a major decision like this. I know I
would. Right?

And now you are in chase mode. You call the buyer back to

He tells you they’re still considering which vendor they
want to purchase from, or worse…

He won’t take or return your call!

If you find that sales can be tough, here is the reason:

  You are letting the buyer control your sale, instead of
controlling it yourself!

Now this isn’t entirely your fault. You were conditioned by
all that buying you did and observed before getting into
sales about what was “proper” behavior for a “professional”
sales person.

Well if you want to make more sales, and close more deals
with the same or less effort, you’re going to have to start
doing things differently.

The way to get control of the sales cycle is to stop giving
away your power.

Recognize that you have knowledge, information, and
resources that your prospective customers want and need.

And because you have something your prospects want, you have
bargaining power. Sales should be a mutual exchange of value
for value.

Unfortunately too many salespeople give away their value,
without asking anything in return, because of limiting
beliefs about what is “acceptable” sales behavior.

They give presentations without securing commitments from
their prospects, and then they wonder how they can close a
prospect that’s “on the fence”.

You need to get commitments from your customers before you
give a presentation, before you give away your valuable
knowledge, time and resources.

Selling really is about helping people solve their problems.

Keep the focus of your conversations on the prospect’s
problem, and away from “why your product is so great”.

When you do so, you can control the conversation to the
point where either the prospect wants to purchase from you,


You quickly conclude that you have no chance for a sale
and you move on.

And the quicker you get a no, the more time you can spend
finding and selling to prospects who will say yes.


Forget giving away your time, attention and knowledge to
prospects who don’t purchase. Learn 5 simple skills that
will enable you to close significantly more in the same time
that you are working now. No more cheesy closing lines.

Go to http://www.industrialego.com/persuasive-selling.htm


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Here are three ways to add Pizzazz and value to your proposals.

Consider first things first. I hope you are not doing quotes. I hope
you’re not using those run-of-the-mill quotation forms. Doing quotes
makes me itch. From this point on forget about doing quotes and
start doing value-packed proposals.

Look, it stands to reason that you want your proposal to adequately
represent you when you’re not there to speak for yourself. Imagine
you’re dealing with a committee of five decision makers.

Also imagine they are seated around a conference table for a 1 PM
meeting to determine who gets the business – and you’re not there
to represent yourself. What’s left is your proposal and it has be

Let’s also assume there are four suppliers involved. Three of the
suppliers have submitted rather boring and bland quotations that
almost scream out, Hey, here’s my price.

The person who wins the –Pricing game– is the person with the lowest
price. Unless your company has instructed you to buy the business
(at the lowest price) – don’t play this game.

Here are three tips you can use to put some pizzazz into your
next proposal:

1. Here are some cover page essentials. If there are five decision
makers, be sure you have each decision-maker’s name in large type
on the front cover so that everyone gets a personalized copy of your

The biggest thing on that page should be that person’s name. Including
a line that says —Especially prepared for— might score a few points as well.
I suggest you put the date of the decision making meeting on the front
cover too – not the date you send it. If you do this it will force you to find
out when the decision is going to be made.

2. Include an organization chart – but not an ordinary one. Create a
chart that includes the names of six to eight people who are most likely
to have some interaction with your potential customer. Traditional
organization charts usually include names and titles. Go beyond that
and include telephone numbers, fax numbers, e-mail addresses, direct
dial extensions and a digital photograph the size of a quarter situated
in the box.

Including this contact information draws attention to the accessibility of
all key people – and that’s exactly what you want. Having pictures simply
adds faces to the names. You can score some major points by introducing
your support team.

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(delivered via email) The Art Of Closing The Sale.

Guilt, guilt, guilt.  Guilt is a terrible feeling and is often self-inflicted by female entrepreneurs, especially during the holidays.

Most people who work for themselves say they chose to do so because they wanted to “control their time.”  People who value time over money, recognize that time is a precious commodity that cannot be created, bought, or borrowed.  You have to use it wisely or else it is gone.

Having the luxury to control how, with whom, and where you spend your time is one of the bonuses of working for yourself.  So, why is it that an overwhelming number of female entrepreneurs also say they feel guilty when they are not working on their businesses or with a client between the hours of 9 am to 5 pm?

To be truly happy and successful as an entrepreneur, you must break the corporate-created walls of time and learn how to set your day according to your needs and the needs of your clients.  There is no law chaining you to your desk eight hours a day between 9 am and 5 pm.

Here’s my advice: stop feeling guilty about when you are working and when you are not, and ditch the idea of playing by rules set up by other organizations.  Make sure you benefit from the freedoms of entrepreneurship and maximize your time by performing regular activities such as food shopping at off times like 10 am on a Tuesday or having your teeth cleaned at 2pm on a Monday.   You will spend less time waiting in line, you will be less stressed, and actually have more time to devote to your clients and other activities, then if you went on a weekend or during a busier time.

Of course, be sure to take a day or two off completely during the holidays to go gift shopping, ice-skating, or for decorating your home.  Give yourself permission to enjoy your life and do something for yourself, even if it is on a week day between nine and five.  You deserve it.

Have you ever wondered why you seem to hit it off right
away with some customers, while with others it’s more like
oil and water? That’s because we respond intuitively to the
natural chemistry, or lack there of, between temperament

Our temperament style not only determines our behavioral
traits, body language patterns and buying style, but it also
influences our compatibility with other people.

Today we have access to innovative tools such as the
Internet, cell phones, faxes and voice mail all designed to
enhance our communications and support us in selling
more effectively.

Nevertheless, even with all of these technological tools at
our disposal, the alarming number of failed relationships,
dissatisfied employees and lost sales all reflect the fact
that none of us are as effective at understanding others
as we would like to believe.

For example, what about that sale you thought you had
made, but for some unknown reason your prospect
changed their mind and didn’t buy… or at least they didn’t
buy from you. Chances are you lost that sale because of
your inability to recognize and adjust to your prospect’s
preferred buying style. This temperament mismatch is
often referred to as a “personality conflict.”

Research in the field of psychology tells us that we are
born into one of four primary temperament styles
(Aggressive, Expressive, Passive or Analytical).

A person’s temperament style is determined genetically
and has nothing to do with their astrology sign, birth order
or childhood experiences. Our temperament style is also
unrelated to race or gender. Each of these four primary
behavioral styles requires a different approach and selling

Ancient Wisdom
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is credited with
originating the basic theory of the four temperament styles
twenty-four hundred years ago. Since the days of ancient
Greece there have been many temperament theories and a
wide variety of evaluation instruments, but essentially they
utilize the four temperament styles that Hippocrates
identified. Hippocrates observed that these four styles have
a direct influence on our physiology, character traits and
outlook on life.

The Aggressive or Worker style is:
Extroverted – Determined – Demanding – Domineering –
Controlling – Practical – Self-reliant – Decisive – Insensitive

Their major weakness is “anger management”. Under
pressure the Worker will work harder and may become
ill-natured or explosive.

The impatient and goal-oriented Worker prefers a quick,
bottom line presentation style. They expect you to be on
time and well prepared. They like it when you avoid small
talk and get right down to business.

Workers are generally quick to make a decision. They
are focused on results and ask “what” questions. Keywords
to use when presenting to a Worker are results, speed
and control. Give them options so you don’t threaten their
need for control.

The Expressive or Talker style is:
Extroverted – Enthusiastic – Emotional – Sociable –
Impulsive – Optimistic – Persuasive – Unorganized

Their major weakness is “emotional management”.
Under pressure the Talker will talk more, shop or eat,
and may display an emotional outburst.

The playful and friendly Talker prefers a fast paced and
enthusiastic presentation style. Use a short warm up and
allow extra time in your presentation for them to talk.

Talkers can be impulsive shoppers and are generally quick
to make a decision. The key to making a sale to a Talker
is to keep them focused on the presentation and allow time
for them to express their feelings.

Talkers seek social acceptance and are concerned about
what other people think of them. They ask “who” questions.
Keywords to use when presenting to a Talker are exciting,
fun and enthusiastic.

Keep your presentation big picture and avoid giving them
too much detail. Consider using colorful pictures, pie charts
or graphs when presenting to this style.

The Passive or Watcher style is:
Introverted – Accommodating – Harmonious – Indecisive –
Patient – Polite – Uninvolved – Friendly – Sympathetic

Their major weakness is “self-esteem management.”
Under pressure the Watcher will avoid conflict by sleeping
in longer.

The peaceful and stoic Watcher prefers a slow, deliberate
presentation style. Watchers, unlike the impatient Worker,
require extra time to warm up before you begin talking
about business.

Watchers are very sensitive to conflict or “sales pressure.”
They have a need to accommodate others and tend to ask
“how” questions. Keywords to use when presenting to this
style are family, service and harmony.

Help the Watcher make a decision by giving them assurance.
They dislike having to make decisions and are natural born
procrastinators who love the status quos.

The Analytical or Thinker style is:
Introverted – Thoughtful – Organized – Critical – Shy
Detailed – Pessimistic – Introspective – Secretive – Aloof

Their major weakness is “stress management.” Under
pressure the Thinker becomes withdrawn, depressed and
worries more (panic attacks). They “stress out” and seek

The cautious Thinker prefers a slow, detailed presentation
style and warms up slowly. They are skeptical and typically
research before they purchase. Thinkers want detailed
information and they tend to ask “why” questions.

Keywords to use are logical, safety and quality. Because
they are concerned about making a wrong decision and
appearing incompetent, you can expect the Thinker to
want to take their time.

Their frugal nature will cause them to “shop your numbers”
to make certain they are not paying too much. Because of
their desire for research and their need to avoid making a
mistake, Thinkers often get bogged down in details. They
get what is called “paralyzes from analysis.” Close the sale
with the Thinker by reducing their fear of making a mistake.
Give them evidence, facts, testimonials and guarantees.

While there are certainly many factors that influence the
selling process, by far the most important factor is to identify
your prospect’s preferred buying style. Once you learn how
to quickly and accurately determine your prospect’s
temperament style using body language, you will be able to
close more sales in less time!

John Boe presents a variety of sales training and motivational
programs for meetings and conventions. John brings over
twenty years of experience as an award-winning sales trainer
to the platform. To have John speak at your next event, visit
www.johnboe.com or call 877 725-3750. Free Newsletter
available on website.

© 2011 Sales And PublishingSuffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha
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