Sales playbooks

Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Companies that sell through distributors or independent reps understand the challenge of keeping their sales channel updated on the latest product value proposition, competitor positioning and overall product features and benefits. And to their credit, these distributors and reps have a lot to keep track of considering they are usually selling a dozen other companies’ products with hundreds of different models. In addition, most sales teams also turn over several times in the span of a couple years, so onboarding new distributor sales people is critical for the success of selling their products. Over the years, manufacturers have put the time and money into online marketing and sales portals and detailed electronic catalogs, but those tools only provide a reference for tech  [Read More...]

You must believe in a product to sell it effectively

Thursday, October 22, 2015
As a sales trainer, I often confront a difficult obstacle that stands in the way of developing more effective sales people. Too often sales people are hindered by limiting beliefs that prevent them from implementing the best practices, principles and processes that can multiply their results. They remain bound by internal barriers of their own conception. Here’s an example. A customer service representative wants to move to outside sales. He was good at his job of reacting to whoever was on the other end of the phone line and responding effectively to the request of all the customers. As a result, he forms the belief that success is a matter of responding effectively to everyone. He’s moved into outside sales, where he naturally brings along that belief. In that new position, he   [Read More...]

Simplify the sale

Thursday, September 17, 2015
Trainers and consultants love to make the simple things complex, and the complex things downright indecipherable. That’s how a lot of consultants build their reputations and extend contracts – the more the consultant can complicate something, the less you know – and the more you need him. So, if the “Consultant Police” come after me, you’ll know why. What I’m referring to is the old “complex sale” philosophy. The “complex sale” strategy was something that was big a few years ago, but in the world of selling, I’m seeing it fade out a bit. The reason is simple: While selling itself may not be simpler now, most companies’ decision-making processes are. Complex sales (and complex buying processes) depended heavily on the existence of a thick layer of middle management with time on th  [Read More...]

Fundamentals of Pricing

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
This month we are sharing a quick reminder about making money on the items you sell. You have to do so many things right to get the nod from your customers and make the sale but often the “follow-through” of the selling process is to make sure that you charge enough so that it was worth your effort. Some things to consider as you price items: The objective is fair pricing – Fair means the wholesaler made acceptable profits and the customer felt that he was fairly treated in the transaction. There is often a range of prices that the customer will view as fair. The optimal price for the wholesaler is to sell at the high end of that “fair” range as opposed to the low end of the range. Gouging is never the objective since that will leave a bad taste in the mouth of your customers. With that  [Read More...]

How to get customers to pay more

Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Let’s start with this premise: nobody totally enjoys change. And, when the change involves a price increase, most of us hate the change. Yet, in most cases we accept the change and move forward. For instance, on a recent trip to the grocery store, I discovered eggs have nearly doubled from my expected price. In a nanosecond, my brain spun through the avian flu impacting poultry farmers across the Midwest, healthy egg alternatives and buying something else. But Sunday morning omelets were on the menu and the eggs quickly joined the other goodies in the shopping cart. I accepted the price increase and moved on to the real issue at hand, cooking breakfast. Driving home from the store, I contemplated what might have happened if the local grocer employed the same pricing strategies as many   [Read More...]