Archive for March, 2010

Your Miranda Rights in Sales…

March 28, 2010

One of the greatest problems salespeople have is that we talk too much. It’s been said that the best salespeople are those that have the ‘gift of gab’, or a ‘silver tongue’. Nothing could be further from the truth. The real problem is not so much that we don’t have the ‘gift of gab’, but it’s that we don’t know when to shut up for our own good.
In my ‘Gold Call’ training classes I often read my students their ‘Miranda Rights’ in sales, or their right to remain silent. Exercising the right to remain silent should be at the forefront of any successful sales negotiation. Whatever your sales method, be sure that anything you say can, and will be used against you by prospects. That’s the way the real world works. Prospects wait for you to say something that they can call into question, or challenge you on. And if you’re not prepared, you can ‘incriminate’ yourself by talking too much, say the wrong thing, and destroy an otherwise good opportunity to close a sale.
Here’s a suggestion… Start reading yourself your ‘Miranda Rights’ before every sales call. Each time you speak to a sales prospect just remind yourself beforehand that you have the right to remain silent, and anything you say may be used against you. Be careful about dropping names. Remain cautious about overstating guarantees, and delving into too many of the specifics about the mechanics of how your product works.
Of course it’s OK to talk. Just be careful about what you say, and how much you say to prospects when trying to win their business. Understand that most prospects are waiting for you to trip over your own words. That gives them the perfect opportunity they need to seize control of your sales call. And whoever controls usually wins…

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The Toughest Sales Call I Ever Made

March 20, 2010

Today marks the 11th anniversary of the passing of my beloved friend, and father-in-law, Neil J. D’Avino. He was a man among men to say the least, and one of my biggest fans. This time each year, on the anniversary of his passing, I think back to that day when I got the news that Neil had departed this world. I was on a sales call in Western New Jersey, calling on a company named Casio. I remember parking my car, and making my way to the front desk receptionist. As I approached the door, my cell phone rang. It was my wife Nancy, and she delivered the bad news.
Talk about a tough spot to be in. There I was waiting for my sales prospect to come out and greet me, and at the same time feeling a strong sense of grief. I found myself faced with a challenge most everyone in sales has, separating personal problems from the business. The grief had to wait.
I managed somehow to pull myself together. I thought to myself that Neil would have wanted it that way. As I went on with the sales meeting, I had all I could do to separate my personal life from my business. The good part was that I made it through the sales meeting, and managed to close some business.
Believe me, it was a very long ride home that night. But I felt better giving some credit to Neil in Heaven for helping me close a sale that day. What a coincidence I thought when I closed 3 new sales today. I couldn’t help but think that it was Neil’s way of staying in touch. Thanks Pal. If you were here I’d share my commissions.

Are You A ‘Sales Rhinoceros’?

March 2, 2010

Did you know that Rhinoceroses have the thickest skin of any terrestrial mammal, and the thickest skin in relation to their size, of any animal? The skin on their backs and flanks can be 2.5 cm or 1 inch thick. That’s the kind of thick skin you need to succeed in sales these days.
On the other hand, if you’re a ‘thin-skinned’ salesperson it’s easy to become discouraged, and feel vulnerable when things don’t turn out as expected. In the wild, and wacky world of business you simply need to develop ‘thick skin’ like the Rhinoceros to make it in business, and to survive in your career.
Take a look at any Rhinoceros. In addition to their very thick skin, they are menacing looking creatures to say the least. Starting with their 5-6 ft. horns (actually matted hair protruding from their skulls), the Rhinoceros is an animal that looks like it can break down almost any barrier. Add that to the fact that some white Rhinoceroses can weigh more than 4,000 pounds, and you have a living and breathing form of a battering ram that is completely undaunted in its effort to move about. In fact, the only predator known to a Rhinoceros is Man, (armed with a gun, and very good aim).
Imagine for a moment if you were thinking like a ‘Sales Rhinoceros’. What would you possibly be afraid of? Certainly not a small-minded prospect that jerks you around, and rejects your proposal! Rejection is a natural part of the ‘sales game’. In the selling profession, there will always be some prospect, business partner, or customer that will take advantage of your ‘thin skin’ if you allow it to happen. Dealing with these sorts of people simply requires you to have thick skin, and go about your business like a Rhinoceros would. The question is whether you have the stamina and the thick skin of a Rhinoceros to take the bumps and bruises that often accompany a successful career in sales. If not, I suggest exploring a career outside of direct sales. After all, if you can’t handle the call of the wild, it’s time to get out of the jungle!