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Whom do you associate with?  We become an average of the five people we associate with the most.

Start your week with the right people.

Check out the video to see what I mean:

Success and Who You Associate With - YouTube

A coach can help you excel in your sales career! Invest in yourself by checking out my coaching program today!

Copyright 2018, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results

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Walk into Starbucks, Panera or any other coffee establishment, and you’ll find people working on their laptops, checking email, making a call and basically doing what they could from their “home office.”

The “home office,” whether it be the back bedroom, the basement, the loft over the garage or simply the front seat of your car, can become a lonely place.

The first time I was told my office would be closing and I would be working from home, I can’t say I was thrilled.  Thirty years ago, that move hit me as a demotion.  There’s no doubt I was on the front-end of a trend. Fast forward to today and it seems there are more salespeople working from home than there are working in an office.

Regardless of your position, you’re as likely to work from home as from an office, and you suddenly find yourself competing with the toys the kids left out the night before and the laundry that begs to be done.  Balancing the home with the home office is just that — a balancing act that never seems to end.  No wonder there is so much “home office” work being done over a Grande Caramel Frappuccino with an extra shot of caramel.

People crave interaction. The only question is the level of interaction.  For some it’s the constant conversation, whereas for others, all they need to know is that others value them. This is why I say sales is not a solo activity but a team sport.

Who’s on your sales team? Bigger question is whose sales team are you on?  Each day we have to make it our job to be reaching out to others on our team and dialoging with them.  The sales manager who believes in the idea their people want to be left alone and never bugged is simply not doing their job.   The salesperson who says they want to work in total solitude is never going to reach their full potential.

Could you imagine sitting a person in the corner and telling them their job is to design a self-driving automobile without any input from others? Would that person be successful?  No! We know even Elon Musk couldn’t pull off that task, yet in the same vein that’s what we expect salespeople who work alone to be able to do.

Your job is to create and be part of a sales team.  That means dialogue, support, accountability, learning, sharing and helping. If you’re not part of a sales team that does that, then it’s your job to create one by reaching out to others.  Ask them to be part of a team.

If you are on a team and you don’t see this happening regularly, then you need to find a different team.  Sales managers reading this, pay attention. This is your #1 job.   It’s not to deliver the quarterly number, and it’s not to ensure reports are done on time.  If you create the right team, then all of those other activities will be taken care of.

Sales leadership begins by being part of a team.  Sales is not a solo activity. Sales is a team sport.

A coach can help you excel in your sales career! Invest in yourself by checking out my coaching program today!

Copyright 2018, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results

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How confident are you with regard to prospecting?  Recently I received two notes from people stating how they dread prospecting and they don’t feel confident doing it.

These two people are not alone. I suspect at one time or another, you have struggled with prospecting. Or maybe you are struggling with it now.

The biggest issue that will impact a person’s ability to prospect is the level of confidence they have. Unless you’re confident, there is little chance you’ll be successful prospecting.

Check out this video as I talk about confidence and the role of questions when it comes to prospecting:

Prospecting and Your Level of Confidence - YouTube

Here are 10 ways to build your confidence to prospect better:

1. Write down all of the ways you’ve helped customers in the past.  Use this list as fuel to allow you to realize what you do for customers does make a big difference.

2. Keep a list of all of great things customers have told you about how you’ve helped them. Keep any emails and also write up any positive telephone calls or voicemails you get.  Keep these next to your phone and they will serve as further evidence as to why you need to be making your prospecting calls.

3. Each day contact one current customer and explore with them all the ways they’ve benefited from what you’ve provided them. This is a great exercise to do just before you begin making your prospecting calls.

4. Never fly solo! Sales is a team sport. It’s not played well when you’re the only one involved.  Link up with a couple of other salespeople and each morning text each other with a comment about how the day is going to be awesome or challenge them on goals.  Naturally, they’ll do the same, and as you help pump up others, they’ll be pumping you up. A rising tide lifts all boats, and you’ll find the tide rising quickly.

5. Set hourly goals as to the number of calls you will make. Set them at a level you know you can achieve and congratulate yourself by taking a 5-minute break when you do.  As you progress, over time begin increasing the number of calls you’ll make each hour.

6. At the end of each day, take a moment to record your two most successful activities of the day. Congratulate yourself and then lay out what your goals will be for the next day.

7. Before you end the day, build your plan as to who you are going to call tomorrow and the reason why. By building the plan today, you won’t waste time tomorrow and the speed with which you can start calling will increase your confidence.

8. Record all the questions you ask prospects. Make a note of the ones that worked great and scratch out those that didn’t work well. Over a couple of weeks, you’ll find yourself with a list of questions you’re very confident in using.

9. Keep your expectations in check. Confidence is lost when the goals are set too high for each call. Remember what your objective is. For most salespeople, it’s merely to gain one piece of information and to set a time for a follow-up conversation.  If you can do that with just a few calls each day, then you’ll be incredibly successful.

10. Don’t expect everyone to respond nicely to your calls. We can never forget that when we are reaching out to someone, we have zero clue as to what else is going on in their life at that moment.  We knew we were calling them, but they didn’t know it. Their negative reaction to us could easily be a culmination of a series of events in their day and they’re merely venting on us.

Remember, sales and prospecting are something few people choose to do, and the fact you’re doing it makes you part of an elite group of professionals. Your activity is helping others — not only the customers to whom you sell, but also others in your company and, of course, you and your family.

Sales is something you can be proud of.  Each day you will hear “no” far more than you will “yes,” but that only means when you do hear a “yes,” it’s very special.  Don’t sweat the “no” response, as “no” is only a moment in time, and you have no idea what the next call will bring.

I believe strongly each “no” I hear brings me that much closer to the next “yes.”

A coach can help you excel in your sales career! Invest in yourself by checking out my coaching program today!

Copyright 2018, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results

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If your prospecting plan is not aligned properly with the market in which you sell, then you are missing out on profit.

In my book, “High-Profit Prospecting,” I specifically dig into ways you can fit your plan with your market.  Learn and apply these skills and I have no doubt you will incrementally see your close rate click up.

You can’t afford to not develop the best prospecting skills possible.

A coach can help you excel in your sales career! Invest in yourself by checking out my coaching program today!

Copyright 2018, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results

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Too many times, salespeople talk themselves out of making a call or taking action. They overthink it. Want to know a better approach to increasing sales and boosting sales motivation?

Go first. Ask yourself second.  In other words, take the initiative and GO, whether that be making the phone call or reaching out in another way. After the fact you can decide if it was the right move, but you at least need to make the move.

Check out the video to see what I mean:

Your Sale Won't Occur Until You Take Action - YouTube

A coach can help you excel in your sales career! Invest in yourself by checking out my coaching program today!

Copyright 2018, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results

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A few weeks ago I was speaking at the Utah Governor’s Economic Summit and another speaker was Mitch Lowe, the man behind MoviePass.He shared a great insight. He said, “When we remove friction, we increase consumption.”

Think about that line for a minute and now put in context with what he said about it.  His examples were how Blockbuster and the idea of renting a movie to watch at home made it easier for people to watch more movies.  Netflix in its original version would mail you DVDs of movies to make it easier than having to go to Blockbuster and once again consumption increased.  More recently, Netflix moved their delivery system on-line and again an amazing thing happened. The consumption of movies and video content increased.

The more I think about what Mitch shared, the more I am reminded to think about how we sell. I’m left wondering, “Do we create friction that in turn impedes sales?”

What can you do to make it easier for your customer to buy from you?  What can you do to have your customer see you more as a leader faster?  I use the line “speed sells.” To do this we have to be able to remove the friction from our sales processes.

For years if you wanted to buy a car in Detroit, you had to do it between 8 AM and 5 PM, Monday through Friday, because that’s what the unions dictated.  Their belief was as long as everyone played by the same rules, then there would be no loss of sales.  The idea was when you wanted to buy a car, you made time to do it during those limited hours, even though it meant taking time off from work.

Absurdity at it best if you were to believe that such limitations would have zero impact on the selling of cars.  Of course, fewer cars were sold. The friction created by the rules certainly impacted sales.

Friction in your sales process comes from legacy thinking and failing to go past what is the norm and failing to shift 100% to a customer centric model.  It’s what caused Blockbuster to fail. It’s what led to near devastation of the domestic auto industry.

Your goal is to assess your sales process and find those obstacles that are creating friction and remove them or, at a minimum, find a way around them.  Your customer may or may not even realize there is friction in the process. That’s your job — find it and remove it.

Sales leadership is not doing what’s expected, but rather going beyond. Back in the days of Blockbuster, we marveled at how we could visit a store and find a movie we could watch in our own home.  Back in those days, we thought that was awesome. We accepted the friction of the process and the time it took, let alone the stupid late fees we all paid. Today the friction is gone and we stream instantly any movie we want on any device we want any time we want.

“Remove the friction and you will increase consumption.” Mitch Lowe, CEO MoviePass

A coach can help you excel in your sales career! Invest in yourself by checking out my coaching program today!

Copyright 2018, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results

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Four weeks to go in the quarter, and you’re in a panic because you’re falling short.   Missing your quarterly number means no bonus and no bonus means the vacation you want to take your family on is not going to happen.

The pressure is building.  Is this you this quarter?  Was this you last quarter?  Could this be you next quarter?

Quick — what are the solutions to help you make you number?   That’s the question for which you want an answer!

Here are my 10 strategies for making your quarter-end number:

1. Stop trying to hit homeruns and instead go for the singles.

Hitting a homerun is great, but more times than not what comes before the homerun are a lot of strikeouts.  The last month of any quarter when you’re chasing your number, you need to be focusing in on singles.

These are the deals you can close much faster.  Save “swinging for the fences” for the beginning of the quarter or the start of the year when you have time to recover if the homerun is not going to happen.

2. Target your existing customers.

I see too many salespeople failing to secure the incremental extra business that can come fast from existing customers, only because they never stayed in touch with them. Your existing customers have already bought from you, so they’re comfortable with you. Credit is already set up and they’re ready to buy more, but you need to make the call.

3. Sell the value of time.

Customers may say they want to wait, but a decision to wait means they won’t receive the value of what you have to offer now.  Link the value of what you offer to time with a dollar amount.

4. Focus your selling on what you can deliver this quarter.

Getting the big order on inventory you won’t have until next quarter is not going to help you now.  Sales managers, this is where you play a key role by keeping your salespeople up to date with what’s available and what’s not.

5. Stay in your sweet spot with your sales efforts!

What I mean is now is not the time to venture into a new industry, a new geography or areas where you don’t already have a presence. That tactic simply is not going to be a good use of your time.  Focus on these areas at the start of the quarter, when you have more time to build awareness.

6. Reach out and ask for referrals.

Referrals typically will always close faster than somebody where you have no prior relationship or connection.

Don’t forget — just as you’re looking for referrals, so too are others looking for them.  Referrals are a two-way street.

7. Don’t over complicate your sales proposals!

Keep things as simple as possible for the customer to say “yes.”  This means don’t give your customer too many options. I never want to go with more than three options and I prefer just two.  Two options gives them the ability to decide but will not overwhelm them.

8. Use Mondays and Fridays to your advantage.

This is something you should be doing every week, but it’s even more important now.  Don’t allow yourself to believe customers don’t want to hear from you on Mondays or Fridays. Make the call. Remember, it’s your bonus that’s on the line.

9. Telephone overrules email.

You know I’m a fan of the telephone when it comes to sales, and it’s especially true as the end of the quarter approaches.  You can’t afford to have any delays, and the best way is by calling.   The email blast you want to send might make you feel good, but in the end it’s the sales you close this quarter that count.

10. Don’t ever give up and never stop believing in what you can do.

Last week I was talking with a salesperson on the phone who just a couple of quarter ago was struggling big time. The numbers weren’t there and neither was his attitude.  This quarter it’s a new ball game. His attitude is spot on and he’s closing deals. Your attitude and focus will play a much bigger role than you realize.

A coach can help you excel in your sales career! Invest in yourself by checking out my coaching program today!

Copyright 2018, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results

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A phenomenal way to start your Monday is to call your favorite customer.  This is a boost of momentum that will carry through your week.

So when was the last time you called your favorite customer? Give them a call today!

Check out the video to see what I mean:

Sales Motivation: Call Your Favorite Customer - YouTube

A coach can help you excel in your sales career! Invest in yourself by checking out my coaching program today!

Copyright 2018, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results

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The number of apps and new technologies flooding the marketplace has people saying more and more about how sales is now a science and no longer an art.  I’m struggling with this, because the more tech becomes entrenched in the sales process, the more I feel sales is an art.

If my goal is to merely complete a transaction and, for that matter, a priced-focused transaction, then I’m embracing tech as the primary process when it comes to sales.  The problem I see is tech is anything but personal. It’s great at executing tasks, but it’s lame with regard to dealing with intellectual thinking and emotions.

I might be willing to be led by Google maps when driving to a restaurant, but I’m certainly not going to use technology to tell me what to order, how to eat, how much to eat or even how much to tip.   Think about this with regard to your customers.  Do they want to be relegated to interacting with an app? They probably do if your level of sales leadership is so pathetic it turns customers off.

BUT if you provide quality leadership, then certainly your customers gain much by interacting with YOU.

Last week I was on the Internet looking to buy some software I thought I needed.   After digging around on the web and the software website, I gave up and scratched the idea.  The reason was simple — the website failed to answer my questions and there was zero chance of getting a live person on the phone.

When was the last time you experienced your own sales process?  I’m sure the software company I wanted to buy from thought their website was great. They even listed on the site the number of “customer service awards” they had won. Hmmm, sure made me wonder who they were competing against to “win” those awards.

Regardless of how good we think our apps, AI, and technology are, we can’t forget the “art” of selling, and that’s where you come into play.  When we fail to demonstrate sales leadership with how we deal with our customers, we’re saying we’re not concerned about maximizing revenue.

Potential customers looking to interact with a human will do so, and if you can’t provide it, they’ll resort to social media.  Are you comfortable with allowing social media sites to control your outcome?

Sales is an art. It always will be regardless of how much science is involved.  It’s why I say sales is more than B2B or even B2C, but rather it’s P2P — people to people.  Your objective is to find ways to not decrease the level of human interaction, but to increase it and in so doing you will be demonstrating sales leadership.

A coach can help you excel in your sales career! Invest in yourself by checking out my coaching program today!

Copyright 2018, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results

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How quickly should the topic of price come up in a prospecting call?  I’m sure you’ve faced this issue. You’re having a first or second conversation with a prospect and the issue of price comes up, and suddenly you’re in a prospecting dilemma about what to do next.

Have you ever parked your car in a manner you would not be able to get it out?  No, you’d never do that.  Same thing applies with prospecting. You never want to go into a prospecting call not knowing how to get out of it.

Don’t view the issue of price to be a one-way conversation where the customer is in control. You have the ability to stay in control if you’ve been pro-active in asking questions that get the prospect to reveal the needs and outcomes they desire.

It’s a big mistake going into a prospecting call and not being willing to ask questions that will get the customer sharing their needs. Now, don’t think this means it’s about the specific product they want to buy. No, it’s just the opposite. It’s about why they are looking for what they feel they need to buy.

Regardless of where the prospect is in their buying journey and regardless if they came to you via an inbound lead or an outbound call, it’s still about their needs.

Asking questions focused on the why and their needs early in the prospecting process is the only way to get it out on the table.  The sooner you have this out on the table, the sooner you’ll be prepared to handle any question they bring up regarding price.

Check out this video of a situation I found myself in dealing with price early in the prospecting/selling phase.

Stop the Discounting by Increasing Your Value - YouTube

The salesperson who fails to uncover early the reason the prospect is talking to them is setting themselves up for failure, because they won’t have a solid response if price comes up.

Don’t look at price as a cost. Look at price as an investment.  It’s an investment designed to help them achieve the outcome they desire.   The way you handle the issue of price is by linking it back to the outcome the customer wants. (You’ll get a full example of how to do this in the video.)

Remember, it’s never that your price is too high. No, it’s an issue of your value being too low.  Raise your value and you can raise your price, and it starts in the prospecting phase.

Want to learn the secrets to using email and the telephone to prospect? I am offering a FREE prospecting webinar on Monday, June 4, at 2 PM Central.

This 45-minute webinar is all about building a program quickly that will lead to results for you and your bottom line.  If you can watch it live, GREAT, as I will be giving away some extras!  But even if you can’t watch live, still register and you will get the recording.  You’ll get all the relevant tips that could make a difference in your prospecting momentum.

Sign up today at this link.

A coach can help you excel in your sales career! Invest in yourself by checking out my coaching program today!

Copyright 2018, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Results

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