Sales Training

This page is a database of articles and downloadable white papers on many different aspects of sales training. You can search for any particular topic (e.g. "cold-calling") by typing it into the search box above the list of contents to the right. If you use the productivity tools in Connect (Calendar, Contacts, Workshop, Dashboard) you can use your dashboard results to see which areas of selling you have the most weak spots and then come to this page to find training resources to help you improve.

That's Not Selling

The Japanese have an expression "the power is in the question". As salespeople this phrase holds deep implication for us.

So what's coming from your mouth?

Are your questions strategic, powerful, and designed to lead your prospect to making clear-cut decisions? And I mean are you asking for explicit honest decisions, and not just exclusively asking questions designed to move your prospect towards a "Yes". Do your questions demand a response from your prospects and leave no doubt in their mind you want their business?

When I was first learning to sell I was told that I should never ask a question unless I already knew the answer - the lesson has always served me well.

Essentially it has meant I have always had to plan my questions prior to any sales call, but to also plan for, and anticipate the answers that may be offered up. The truth is peoples 'answering options' are limited, the challenge for most of us though is we often feel asking a 'sales-type' question is manipulative and controlling, or a least that's the excuse we tell ourselves.

My experience tells me this problem is more often than not caused by fear, because asking questions designed to get your prospect to make a decision of consequence opens the door for the prospect to say "No". And that's the last word we want to hear isn't it? In this type of situation we avoid asking a closing question entirely and leave the meeting having ascertained a "Maybe", sighing inwardly to ourselves "at least he didn't say No".

I wrote recently current research shows 4 out 6 sales people don't even ask a closing question when they are in a presentation situation. Four out of six salespeople!

That's not selling; that's sitting!

As salespeople we need to get our heads around the fact some prospects are going to say "No" to what we are offering more often than they are going say "Yes". It's simply not possible to get a "Yes" from every prospect we sit in front of. It's unreasonable and delusional to think so.

The next time you're in front of a prospect put your game-face on and ask a question of consequence. If the response you receive is "No", your prospect has disqualified themselves from the sale. It's not that you have done anything wrong it is simply that your solution is not the right fit right now. Respectfully bow out of the meeting and go find someone who does qualify.

Acceptance is the key.

Be prepared to ask powerful questions and be prepared for the consequences - and remember that the consequences of some questions will be great success.

Sell without regret.

Michael Tate

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Sales Training