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Gerry Weinberg & Associates, Inc. | Southfield, Michigan

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It can be tempting for companies and salespeople to coast through the slower-paced summer months. The seasonal slowdown will cause many organizations to just give up on the season, and save their goals for the months ahead when the pace picks up. Taking the time to lay the groundwork and planning now, however, can help you set up to have a fantastic fall, and lead to strong year-end results.

Sandler principles are rock solid and timeless. However, the expression and execution of the Sandler Selling System are constantly evolving with changing times to stay relevant with current technologies and trends in business. As our world-famous Sandler Submarine approaches its 50th birthday, we thought it was time to give it a new look.

A salesperson striving toward success and prospecting for new clients may think that he or she must do something grandiose to draw customers away from the competition. Occasionally, something spectacular may be just what's needed, but it's not practical to do on a regular basis. Incorporate the following four simple gestures into your interactions with potential clients to experience greater conversion success.

Within sales organizations, companies often perceive salespeople as a necessary evil, as opposed to an asset. If dollars and cents were attached to that asset, a company’s hiring practices may be taken more seriously and the loss of a salesperson may be seen as an expense.

Giving sales-related tasks their due diligence is part of growing your business. As business growth occurs, you have to divide your time amongst more tasks, more clients, more sales team members...you can see where this is going. The busier you get, the easier it is to fall into the trap of ‘busy work,’ or tasks that make you feel like you're accomplishing things but actually detract from business success.

Too often, sales professionals make one fundamental mistake that could be costing them thousands in commissions. They believe that their job is to sell products or services to clients by explaining why their product is superior. Success in sales (and the size of your commission check), is determined not by the information you give, but rather, by the information you collect.

Juan’s sales numbers for the quarter were sharply down; lately, he felt he was struggling with his prospecting. He asked his manager Anita for help.

“There’s a lot we can talk about when it comes to prospecting,” Anita said. “But let’s start with the simplest question first. Are you asking your current clients for referrals?”

Juan frowned and shook his head. “You know, I’ve never really been very comfortable with that,” he said. “I tried asking people a couple of times, and it always felt awkward. It never seemed to generate any opportunities.”

“Let’s think about who you’re asking and how you’re asking them,” Anita said, smiling. “I think you’ll find generating referrals can be a lot easier than you might think.”

As a sales coach, you need to benchmark the performance of each behavior to determine whether they are performed at acceptable levels or not. It is important to utilize a scale rating behavior with a 1 to 10 performance rating. This scale will allow you develop standards not only for each individual but across your team.

As a leader, it’s important to continue your knowledge and training, developing new techniques to bring back to your sales team. Summer presents a great opportunity to spend some time expanding your knowledge by reading inspiring books by business leaders and entrepreneurs.

Many sales organizations get caught up in the details of educating or convincing their prospect to buy. Some sellers might even ask “What do we need to do to earn your business?” and worry about what they can do to facilitate the buying process. “What do you see as next steps?” is another common question that salespeople ask. These sellers lose sight of the fact that it’s the prospect that needs to do something for a sale to happen.