Sales Coaching, Sales Techniques, Sales Training

How to sell over your competitors

There are many important attributes to being a top sales professional that come naturally. As Daniel Pink explains in his book, “To Sell is Human”, the modern salesperson needs Attunement, Buoyancy, and Clarity to be successful. There are other sales skills you learn over time, and in your business, like understanding and selling your product, how to frame your sales call and how to sell the success stories of your clients. One of the biggest things that is frequently missed is to how to correctly sell against your competition. Here are some ways to help with this.

Never bad mouth your competition 

Start with this very simple rule..It may seem obvious. But you’d be surprised how many time people do this. You can always tell by the questions the buyer asks , especially if you are not the first to present. Always make sure you approach talking about your competition in a professional manor. Make sure you carefully select the language you use to explain how you are better so you aren’t damning in any way.

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Leadership, Sales Management, Sales Productivity, Sales Training

Why your sales training needs to be like your exercise routine

A classic mistake with sales training is to do it every so often like once a month or quarter. You’re too busy trying to hit your  numbers and firefighting that training often gets pushed down the list of priorities until we have an urgent issue.  Most sales training, when conducted this way, is often in the format of a whole day or half day of internal training, consultants or an external trainer. Problem is, training will not have an impact in isolation. Done this way it’s such a small part of your team’s work week, month or year.

Think about training like you would exercise

If you don’t work out regularly you get unfit, fat and out of shape. The same goes for sales training.  You can’t just go do a 10k run or play a match without doing anything for weeks. Sales training needs to be like a successful exercise routine: have a good frequency, be varied and be the right length based on your goals.

To get fit you create a plan to do it.  To train your team  for peak performance, you need to do the same. Here are some simple tips you can use to introduce your new approach to sales training.

Create a training plan.  Start somewhere and commit to it

You cannot wing it each week or it will not happen. Your plan should include scheduled group training as well as individual self-paced training. Create a plan so everyone knows where they stand for the week and the month.  This way your team won’t book calls and other meetings in the slots you create for group training.  You need to nail them down to the time and everyone needs to know it’s Monday at 10 am or Friday at 3 pm, that’s when we do this…or both.  This may sound simple but just having it added to everyone’s calendars will make a huge difference.

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Motivation, Sales Techniques, Sales Training

How to #GETUNSTUCK when your hot sales prospect is about to go with a competitor

There are times in sales when we get stuck every almost every day. The more we share and spread sales knowledge the more we can help each other develop and grow as sales professionals. I am delighted to part of the #getunstuck movement.  Please see my 60-second story below for more of these tips and to share your own story check out

You put in a lot of effort contacting your hot sales leads and getting their attention. What do you do when you finally get ahold of them and they tell you that they are about to sign up with one of your competitors? How do you work through this so it doesn’t stop you in your tracks? Here’s my tip to get unstuck and win the business.

Have complete empathy with your sales prospect

They’ve gone out to market. They’ve gone through a whole sales process and you’ve landed on their doorstep at the last possible minute. So you just need to show that you really care and that you understand that to get your foot in the door.

Completely forget about your sales process

They’re at the end of the buying cycle. You need to quickly understand what they love about those competitors and why they’re thinking of buying so you can really show them what makes your solution the best.

Focus on your competitive advantage

So how do you push home that competitive advantage? First of all, demo the product and demo the parts that they’re going to care about very, very quickly. Get them on a free trial and get them using your product as soon as possible. And make sure that you provide them with some sort of competitive analysis so they can clearly see how you can help and how you’re better.  

I hope this helps next time you need to get unstuck!

Leadership, Sales Techniques, Sales Training

#GETUNSTUCK launches today: Help and guidance from top thought leaders in sales & business

There are times in sales when we all get stuck every single day. The more we share and spread sales knowledge the more we can help each other develop and grow as sales professionals. #GETUNSTUCK  is launching  today and is a collection of 60 seconds of sales wisdom being shared daily by thought leaders in sales & business.

Check out this trailer to see a sneak preview..

I am delighted to be part of the #getunstuck movement and my #getunstuck story will be going live on April 18, Monday 11 am EST.

We hope this helps you to #getunstuck and we would love you to share your own story with us. To check out more sales stories and to share your own go to or @getunstuckdaily

Sales Management, Sales Training

4 reasons why sales training today is broken

How often are you running sales training sessions? Maybe you’re doing it once a month, or once a quarter. Maybe you’re the sales manager leading the training scrambling for content at midnight the night before it kicks off or maybe you’ve hired an expensive consultant. You might feel good being able to tick the box that sales training is complete, but how much did it impact your team?

Because sales training is so infrequent we build up to a one-day training session and dump as much information as we can on our sales teams in 8 hours. Would we dump information on our sales prospect in one meeting then expect them to buy from us?  Of course not, they want information broken down for them at the right times when it’s useful. So why is our sales training treated differently? Here is why I believe sales training is broken in B2B companies today.

Are you using your most valuable training resource?

Common practice is for training to be run by someone who is in a senior role or external with ‘experience’,  but what sales professionals really want to do is learn from people who are doing their job successfully every day. 68% of reps say they would rather learn from their peers than anyone else when training. I’ve found this to be true in my experience. Sales professional crave to learn from someone who is doing the same job as them, who are performing well and achieving results.  That is what inspires them to improve.

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Sales Techniques, Sales Training

How to handle a prospect whose first question is “How much?”

If you’re one of, if not the highest price provider in your market, you never like it when the first question you get from your sales prospect is..

“Can you give me an idea of the cost of your program?”

It’s tricky, right? You don’t want to give the pricing to the sales prospect until they understand the value of what you can offer. Here are 5 simple steps on how to handle this question.

Step 1:  Gently divert attention on price away from the beginning to the end of the call

First of all, you don’t want to piss them off so you need to answer the question. But I hate answering the question without the opportunity of helping them understand the value of what we provide, I feel like you might as well price a black box with no idea what’s inside. So my answer is always the same “Yes, I’ll give you a rough idea of pricing before we finish the call, I’d like to understand a little about how we can help first” Then lead with the next step..

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Sales Techniques, Sales Training

Put your elevator pitch to the test

The elevator pitch is tough. You’ve spent weeks trying to get your sales prospect on the phone, they finally pick up and now you have the challenging job of having to ‘pitch’ what you do and excite them about it in 30 seconds. So are you doing a good job of it or are you falling at the first hurdle? Let’s find out.

Grab a friend, recite the elevator pitch you use on your sales calls and once you’ve finished ask them one question. “What can you see?”

As humans, we need to make mental pictures from words to really understand what the words mean. So if at the end of your elevator pitch your buddy can’t imagine anything, has no vision for what you’re talking about at all, there’s a pretty decent chance your sales prospect can’t either.

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Sales Techniques, Sales Training

How to get your outbound sale off to a winning start

When you are selling outbound the biggest challenge you face is to get your sales prospects attention.  Here are some ideas that will help give you the best chance to get noticed by the companies you want to sell to.

Target your ‘decision-maker’ to get introduced to your ‘champion’

The thing we want to do is to sell straight to the decision maker, the tricky thing is they’re very senior and therefore, its hard to get their time. But what if you don’t ask for their time and instead ask for someone else’s time. It’s a much easier request to respond to, it requires much less thought and effort and is, therefore, more likely to get a response “Can you put me in touch with the best person in your team that looks after X”  You’ve accomplished 3 things here. A) You have the right person in the team to now approach. B)You have created urgency because you can now say “Your manager” has asked that I reach out to you as you’re the best person to discuss X.” C) You’re now on the radar of the buyer, even if it’s just a little, its better than not at all.

Have multiple contacts you want to sell to 

Every company has a different organisation structure so it can be hard to easily understand who looks after what.  It’s likely there are multiple people you can sell your product or service to in any business so if you’ve only got one contact that you’re targeting then you’re significantly reducing your chances of starting the conversation.  Make sure that you have 3-4 contacts in your CRM you can target one after each other. Many times I have had a situation where one contact might tell me they are not interested and  then their colleague is happy to start a conversation with me. The opportunity is not lost just because one person said no.

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Sales Techniques, Sales Training

A sales guide to dealing with your competition

If you’re obsessed about hitting your sales number,  when the name of one of your competitors gets mentioned by a sales prospect it’s natural to feel a little defensive inside.  Your prospects will be curious about exploring a few providers and you will want to deal with questions about your competition with a calm, cool head. Here’s my advice.

When they ask a question about the competition, be direct in your response

If someone asks you what other providers are in your market, or what providers you get compared to, don’t try to sidestep it. Don’t say there isn’t any whilst pulling a puzzled face, no-ones believes you, and don’t try to point them in the direction of another space in your market, no-one compares buying a Ford with a Porsche. Get straight to the point and be honest.

Compliment your competitors

If you’re nasty about your competitors, you’re not making them look bad, only yourself. If you’ve got competition, then people must be buying from them, which means they have value. What is that value? Why would someone buy from them and not you? When you get asked about why another provider is different lead the answer with a compliment. “AB Media is a really attractive solution if you’re under 25 employees because its pricing model benefits smaller business”.  “T&T Solutions are a good choice for people who are looking for a simple product that doesn’t require any internal resource to make it effective” It’s an incredible way to build trust with your prospect.

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Sales Techniques, Sales Training

Don’t sell on product features, sell on customer success stories

In the last four weeks, 6 different companies have pitched to me their product online.  Not one of them mentioned any client success stories as they pitched me their product. Only 1 followed up with a case study after.

They spent 90% of their time talking about themselves and their product rather then relating back to me real examples of how they are helping their clients to achieve their goals. I’ve always pitched my client success stories when trying to win new business and I’ve always found it hugely successful. It made me wonder if we’re doing enough to train and prepare our teams with, the stories they need to sell. Here are 7 ways you can start doing this today.

Client Service

The most connected team to success stories are your service team.  If you’re a growing business there’s most likely 10 new stories a week. Outline what’s important for your sales team to understand first of all.  Think about the clients buying reasons, their goals and what they are doing to achieve them, alongside where you need more success stories, is it in a particular size company? Industry? Or particular challenge?  Then work with your service team to create a way this information can be easily shared. Is it through a monthly lunch & learn? Is it a webinar? maybe it’s a SlideShare? Most importantly think about how you collate the information and store it somewhere people can access it in the future.

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