Is the summer sales slump getting you and your team down? My five episodes of the INSIDE Inside Sales Podcast from July focus on a sales professional’s needs for authenticity, critical thinking, and navigating through the buying process from prospecting to a signed contract. These points are foundational to sales success. Send this link to your team to fire them up for the next quarter.
I linked up with the legendary Larry Levine from Selling From the Heart on episode 33 of INSIDE Inside Sales. If you listen to the podcast, you’ll hear us chatting about how authenticity and sincerity can add to your credibility and success. Larry even shares a few things to avoid that are making you come across as fake.
Only three percent of salespeople are trusted. You read that right…only three percent! What are you doing to establish trust with your customers and not be another empty suit?
Larry says that a lack of clarity about yourself and poor conversational skills leads many people to be fake in their sales communications. One tip I like to share for developing rapport is to ask questions about the other person. It shows that you’re interested in them and helps build the relationship.
A self-aware approach to selling led to Larry’s success. He asked his customers questions to find out what they wanted from a salesperson and applied it to his sales practices — something you may want to consider for your own sales career.
Bottom line – don’t fake it ’til you make it like some “experts” say. Have the confidence to embody the most real, most genuine version of yourself. Tune into episode 33 to hear Larry’s secret sales sauce and tips for establishing your credibility with prospects.
Jeff Bajorek from Rethink The Way You Sell joined me for episode 34 of INSIDE Inside Sales to discuss the need for critical thinking as a sales professional. It’s easy to not think things through, but thinking pragmatically about your actions is the ideal approach.
Instead of accepting clichés or thought leaders’ ideas as the only truth, scrutinize these statements. Even if it’s backed by statistical data, that doesn’t mean the statement applies to you and your prospects. Test it out and think it through.
Jeff encourages listeners to “use your brain every day” and realize that you can’t sum up selling in a single sentence. Question phrases like cold calling is dead, or social selling is the only way to reach prospects.
Harping on the importance that you must think for yourself, I couldn’t even get Jeff to share many tips on the podcast. How can you challenge assumptions and take ownership of your outcomes? Jeff and I discuss how to teach yourself to be a critical thinker during the interview. Don’t miss it!
Engaging with people face-to-face is a skill that needs to be developed. It helps you to gain trust, and it’s the fastest way to a resolution.
When you meet new people, don’t get stuck on connecting with those you can sell to. Ask questions that reveal whether they can be a good referral source instead. Listen to our conversation, and you’ll learn tactics for securing face-to-face meetings.
Do you have an upcoming trade show or networking event on your calendar? Then you don’t want to miss Alice’s advice on how to be relational without pitching yourself. She shares a few questions you can ask that will help to break the ice and put you in control of the conversation. Alice also recommended pre-planning who you would like to meet at a trade show.
Is your elevator pitch ready? Do you struggle to engage with your prospects face-to-face? Tune in for tips to Put Your Best Face Forward.
“The best way to qualify an outcome is to look at historical behavior,” says Will Frattini, the Director of New Business Sales from ZoomInfo. As the guest on episode 36, Will helps to shed some light on navigating the modern buying process.
When it comes to moving through the “labyrinth of closing a deal internally,” he says to identify all of the influencers in the buying process and discover how they define value. If a lead claims that they are the sole decision-maker, ask them who else is involved in getting the deal approved.
Often when an approval process is mapped out, you learn that there are in fact other players who need convincing too. Catch this episode for a rundown of the qualifying questions to ask and to learn how to create “levels of trust” with buyers.
If you listen to episode 36, you’ll hear Will mention that there’s a lot of opportunities if you’re patient enough. But get to a no as soon as possible to avoid wasting time. Find out why Will says to walk away and let them start selling to you.
Are you fishing for the shark or the tuna?
Most sales professionals don’t have a prospecting plan. Do you?
Episode 37 features my conversation with Mark Hunter, “The Sales” Hunter. After seeing a lot of salespeople go without a prospecting plan, or with one that doesn’t perform, Mark wrote a blog post about the critical steps to building a successful prospecting plan. His eight steps were the main topic for this episode.
Mark says your prospecting plan “doesn’t have to be complicated with the right roadmap.” The first step of your prospecting plan is identifying your perfect client. Who are they, and why are they an ideal client? Write it down.
Step two is all about the outcomes that your solution provides to customers. How is your product a solution? What are the symptoms of the problem that you solve? You need to know these answers for the next step of your prospecting plan – building a list of ten specific, open-ended questions that create a conversation of sharing.
Mark’s eight-step process is more of a circle than a straight line. Discover the next five steps by tuning in to episode 37 of INSIDE Inside Sales, and you’re bound to gain an edge over your competition with a solid prospecting plan.
Stop Moving through the Motions
July’s podcast episodes are a bit of a wakeup call if you’ve been moving through the motions. I hope you found one, or a few episodes, to listen to that will inspire your sales efforts. Do you have an idea for a future episode? Reach out to me with your suggestions via Twitter or LinkedIn. You can also leave a comment below!