Category Archives for "Sales Training"

Dec 20

Sales Tip: When You Ask a Closing Question, Your Prospect Naturally Feels Pressure

By John Aberle | Sales Training

Prospects don’t trust salespeople when they can sense that you see them only as a wallet and your primary objective is to get their money. When you build a relationship of trust, you will focus on discovering their concerns. You will help them appreciate the gap between now and what they could have and the cost of waiting. Your closing question then causes them to create the tension to decide now.

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Jul 17

Sales Success Requires Listening, Not Telling

By John Aberle | Blogs and Blogging , Sales Training

Despite sales training by generations of traditional sales trainers who emphasize the importance of a good presentation, sales success requires listening, not telling. Think about it. It’s really the old Golden Rule at work. Do you really care how good somebody’s product is before you know that the salesperson has truly heard and understood your situation and your needs? You want a solution, not a product.

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Jul 17

Sales Success Requires Listening, Not Telling

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle , Business Systems , Relationship Selling , Sales Training

Despite sales training by generations of traditional sales trainers who emphasize the importance of a good presentation, sales success requires listening, not telling. Think about it. It’s really the old Golden Rule at work. Do you really care how good somebody’s product is before you know that the salesperson has truly heard and understood your situation and your needs? You want a solution, not a product.

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May 02

How You Gain from Giving Testimonials

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle , Business Systems , Relationship Selling , Sales and Marketing , Sales Training

The other day as I was preparing for my meeting with a client, I was looking at the testimonials on their website and realized for the first time, the irony of giving testimonials. I used to think that asking for testimonials was one-sided. In other words, if I asked you for testimonial of the work I’ve done, then you didn’t really get anything out of it other than the satisfaction of showing your appreciation for work well done. I didn’t realize that the giver of the testimonial actually benefits too.

The first benefit you get from giving me a testimonial is that you get free publicity wherever I use it. Provided I attract a lot of readers to my blog or do a lot of mailings, you stand to gain a lot of recognition. Interestingly, while working with clients on ways to fine tune their marketing and sales activities today, I realized a second, more significant benefit about giving testimonials: when you give a testimonial, you have an opportunity to indirectly state what you believe. The mere fact you are giving a testimonial points back at the values you hold as important.

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Apr 12

How Objections Are Gifts

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle , Business Systems , Relationship Selling , Sales Training , Soft Sell

Have you ever noticed how most people want to avoid conflict? Most salespeople are no different. That is why it’s hard to appreciate that objections are gifts. After all, objections tend to come across as either rejections or as pending conflicts.

This is why traditional sales trainers teach you to prepare a list of all the objections and strong counters to each one. Then, when someone raises one of the objections, you can quickly and smoothly defeat it. The irony of that approach is that each victory you have over your prospect’s objections sprouts another objection.

The key to accepting objections as gifts is to take a heart-centered, soft sell approach: step outside our own person feelings to ask, “Why did this customer bring up this objection in the first place?” Change your viewpoint of sales calls and sales presentations from seeing them as battle where you either win or lose to exercises in developing friendships.

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Jan 31

Failure as Key to Success in Sales & Marketing

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle , Business Systems , Relationship Selling , Sales and Marketing , Sales Training

This past week, I watched a video of our youngest granddaughter that Ian posted on Facebook. He captured her as she made her first efforts to stand. What a treat! She was so proud of herself and excited as she wobbled trying to learn balance. She had a good grip on the pole she’d used to pull herself up. She’d let go with only one hand just pleased as could be. Naturally, daddy heaped praise on her too.

I often think about the parallel in sales and marketing to infants learning to stand, walk and talk. It fascinates me that infants are risk takers. Survival demands it. When we learn to stand and then to walk, we spend more time falling than we do standing or walking. Yet somewhere along the line we forget that all life’s activity takes failure to succeed at new skills. This is true especially true in sales and marketing. The more complex something is, the more failure we’ll have to deal with. Good sales ability involves numerous skills, each of which we must master.

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Oct 12

Selling for the Love of It

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle , Business Systems , Relationship Selling , Sales and Marketing , Sales Training , Soft Sell

There’s more to life than money alone. I know that sounds shocking from someone who trains people to sell and who considers himself a businessman. Nevertheless, for most of us, it’s true. And from my experience working with small business owners, I find that most of them have a passion for what they do. Naturally, we all want to make lots of money and be able to have the freedom and possessions it brings.

In both my experience and reading, I find that most of us work to make a living to do the things that are important to us. The rare ones among us do the work out of love for the job itself. In my case, I sell for the love of it. I do sales training because it gives me even greater pleasure. So, sell for the love of it! Personally, I want the fullness of job satisfaction too. I love selling for the fun, fulfillment and mutual rewards I get from heart-centered, soft sell sales and marketing.

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Jul 11

In Soft Sell Sales, Questions Are to Understand

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle , Business Systems , Relationship Selling , Sales and Marketing , Sales Training , Soft Sell

About twenty years ago, I attended a sales training class that has ever since stood out as the classic example of hard sell. This former vacuum cleaner salesman taught us how he sold 90% of the homes in this small town in Nevada or Arizona. He told us to just develop a series of questions that everybody would answer yes to. Each yes was like a degree on a thermometer. Eventually you had so many yeses that the temperature reached a point where — that’s right — where they couldn’t say no. Degree by degree he built his closing momentum.

I left that training really disappointed that I’d wasted my money. Talk about manipulation. Long before I heard Judith & Jim talk about soft sell marketing and their Soft Sell Marketers Association, I was a soft sell salesperson and soft sell marketer. The irony is that when you use the soft sell approach and ask questions to better understand your prospects’ situation, you don’t need to memorize checklists of questions or drill yourself on clever, irresistible closes. You gain freedom to be yourself, to actually have fun relating with your prospects as people. Soft sell sales and marketing build relationships and make connections.

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Jun 30

It’s Not about Controlling with Questions

By John Aberle | Business Lifestyle , Business Systems , Relationship Selling , Sales and Marketing , Sales Training , Soft Sell

When I first experienced sales training, the trainers sometimes gave me the feeling that questions were a form of cattle prod designed to guide prospects down the chute to the slaughter house. For any soft sell salesperson, that is an unacceptable approach.

In soft sell sales and marketing, the role is that of a trusted advisor or consultant. We use questions to understand, not to control. It takes practice to use open-ended questions smoothly and comfortably. One tip is to develop an attitude of really wanting to know what your customer’s challenges are. You will more naturally move into a discussion, which helps to build trust. You help customers buy because you genuinely want to help. The result is more than a sale, it’s a connection, a relationship, that makes selling fun, fulfilling, and mutually rewarding.

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