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Gerry Weinberg & Associates, Inc. | Southfield, Michigan

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Last week, Sandler Training hosted the world’s top leadership, management, and sales professionals at a summit in Orlando Florida. More than 1,200 people joined Sandler in the sun to learn about sales and leadership, share best practices, and further our knowledge of how to succeed.  The conference was incredible. From the opening video eliciting goosebumps to the #SandlerSummit trending nationally on Twitter with over 3.5 Million views, the room was electric. I have come away with so many notes and action items, but I have highlighted the top 3 lessons learned from last week.

Whether it is time for a touch-point call or you’re visiting a new prospect for the first time, incorporating one or more of these phrases into your approach could be a deal killer. From giving your prospect an easy way to put things off to using too much jargon or lingo, it’s time to strike these words and phrases from your selling vocabulary.

Traditional sales training says present, present, present and close, close, close – convince your prospect with a compelling presentation, show him enough value, and he will surely buy.  When I first got into sales I really sweated the presentations.  I practiced them over and over; used different visual props and brochures; tried a variety of persuasive arguments; and created notebooks full of evidence favoring my product and my company.  Ultimately it became apparent that no matter how exciting or compelling my presentation was, my close rate was mostly dependent on what happened before the presentation, not during it.

While a sales conference can reignite your fire and provide an abundance of new insights and tools, it can also be a chaotic experience. The better prepared you are to hunt for useful insights, information and connections, the more you’ll come away with. Some of the most common frustrations surrounding conferences include coping with speakers and panels who don’t fully cover a topic, finding time to network and even gaining insight from talks that don’t seem immediately relevant.

Need some motivation? Look no further than this group of TED Talks, from experts in a variety of fields. From the aid worker who battled hippos (and lost) to the analyst who discovered the power of drawing toast (and how those drawings revealed simple solutions to complex problems),” this roundup of TED Talks is ideal for motivating yourself or your sales team.

It’s not uncommon for a new hire to start out strong.  But after the initial excitement and enthusiasm for the new job fades, the behavior, performance, and “numbers” follow suit.

Milt had missed his sales quota for three straight quarters. Maria, his new sales manager, had tried to get Milt’s previous manager, Bob, to share his thoughts on why Milt was consistently failing to hit his targets. Bob’s answer was direct: “The guy just flat-out doesn’t care about hitting quota. He’s not cut out for sales anymore. He used to be committed. Now he’s lost interest.Senior management is giving him one more shot. If he can’t cut it this quarter, with you, the plan is to let him go. This is Milt’s moment of truth.”

The world of social media is often overwhelming and misunderstood for a lot of sales people. The biggest mistake I see is not maximizing the abilities within LinkedIn®. LinkedIn® should be used as a powerful branding, research and prospecting tool. In preparation for a recent LinkedIn® session, I put together a list of some of my favorite LinkedIn® Strategies to use for growing your business.

Remember this rule when meeting with potential customers at your trade show booth:  The essence of selling is not telling; it is asking questions and sharing third party stories that will help your prospect self-discover his own need for your product or service.  People do not buy features and benefits; they buy solutions to problems.  If you want to stand out from your competition, stop overloading prospects with information and brochures.  Start asking thought and emotion provoking questions.

There are only 24 hours (or 1,440 minutes) in a day. What you do with those hours has a direct impact on your overall productivity and your career. From the cold calls you have to make to the internal meetings and client visits, how can you squeeze it all into each day without missing out? The way you schedule your time, the format of your meetings and even your approach to delegation are important. Your overall approach to time management can help you make the most of each day to ensure you have a positive impact on your career.