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Opening Lines

In addition to this blog and my videos, I also spend time answering questions and offering suggestions about sales via various social media outlets. One question that seems to repeat itself is “what’s the best way to start a call?” or some variation of this. In addition to the challenge of this question being far too vague to give a meaningful answer to (is this a cold call, first F-2-F with a customer, referral meeting, etc),  there is no one size fits all answer to any aspect of the sales process. Check out this post to read more on how to go about opening a relationship with a potential client.

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Sales Plans- Organizations

To say that “Team” is an iterative process is an understatement. Before you can properly define the Team, you’ve got to consider Target Market, Positioning, Marketing Strategy and Prospecting Strategy, all of which aren’t addressed until later in the plan. And, all of this has to be aligned with your business plan.

I’ve discussed Sales Organization strategies in previous posts, but let’s take a more in-depth look here.

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Your Chicagoland Sales Strategist

“Sales Strategist” – sounds good, right?

During the Q&A portion of a recent presentation that I gave, I began thinking about sales plans, their connection to the business plan, and how to have the most significant impact on business. What I came up with is a new job description – the ‘Sales Strategist’.

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Seasonality in Business

Seasonality is not a good or a bad thing – it simply is what it is. If you are in a seasonal industry, it is crucial you understand it and plan accordingly.

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Sales Channels

I’m having an interesting discussion with a company that I thought would be useful to share with the small business community, as it has to do with sales channels. I personally am channel “agnostic” and simply want to ensure the best channel(s) are implemented based on business needs. However, many sales leaders have their distinct preferences.
There are 4 basic channels, with many variations: Direct, Distribution, Manufacturers’ Rep, and OEM.

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Sales Strategies

Sales Stages – how reliable are they?
We hear a lot of talk about progressing a customer through the various stages of a sale – to the eventual close. But what are those stages, and how consistent are they? Disclaimer: while I absolutely agree that the goal of any sales call is to ensure the next call, I don’t agree with the idea of “leading” a customer through the process. Done properly, the customer should lead themselves through the process naturally – without you, the salesperson, making a conscious effort.
So, what are the stages? Read on!

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Value Based Sales

I’m often asked: “What exactly is Value Based Selling, and is it like SPIN, Sandler or any other ‘system’?” The simple answer is “no.” Value Based Selling, or VBS, is more of a strategy/philosophy than a system or a process. The challenge with systems is that every customer and situation is unique, and no training program can cover all possibilities – so what happens when a salesperson trained in a system comes across a situation they weren’t trained for?

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