Why Conventional Sales Strategies No Longer Work

Posted by Bill Hart on Aug 23, 2017 5:33:13 PM

Many sales reps who have been in the business for a while have been experiencing a steady decline in their performance for the last decade or so.  Unfortunately, most of them cling to the ways of selling they learned two or three decades ago, despite the fact that these techniques are no longer effective.  These reps persist in the old sales strategies because they’re supposed to work, or so they think.  But the old approaches, like “solution selling,” don’t work anymore because the “solution” they are usually selling is a solution to the sales rep’s problem instead of the customer’s.  Let me explain.

Let’s say there is a sales rep named Barbara. Barbara has been trained by her company to sell using a presentation that was created by their marketing department to make sure every sales rep presents the same fool-proof analysis of their product’s features and benefits, and how they will solve the customer’s problems.

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How To Conduct a Customer-Focused Product Demo

Posted by Bill Hart on Aug 10, 2017 12:15:11 PM

During a sales call or demo, it is easy to be very product-focused.  After all, the product is what you’re there to talk about, right? 

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Topics: Sales, Product demos, Sales calls

The Secret of Successful Sales Calls & Product Demos

Posted by Bill Hart on Jul 26, 2017 4:50:14 PM

During a sales call or demo, it is easy to be very product-focused.  After all, the product is what you’re there to talk about, right? 

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Topics: Sales, Product demos, Sales calls

The 2 forces that drive buying decisions - Part 2

Posted by Bill Hart on Jul 12, 2017 5:31:31 PM

If the rear wheel of your customer’s bike is the driving force, or the business reasons, behind why your customer buys (as we discussed in Part 1), then the front wheel is the one that determines the direction in which he will go – whether he buys from you or from someone else.  Here, personal motives are the deciding factor.

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Topics: sales process, Sales, sales strategy

The 2 forces that drive buying decisions

Posted by Bill Hart on Jun 28, 2017 5:05:54 AM

There are two forces that drive a customer’s buying decision: business reasons and personal motives. A successful sale depends on your ability to accurately identify the reason your customer has for buying and what he’s looking for in a vendor. If you fall short in either area, you are likely to lose the sale.

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Topics: sales process, Sales, sales strategy

The #1 Question That Drives Sales

Posted by Bill Hart on Jun 14, 2017 5:00:00 AM

According to a 2015 study, 82% of sellers are out of sync with their customers.  In my experience, the most probable cause of this is that there are a lot of salespeople who are using outdated sales techniques based on an approach to selling that does not work in today’s environment.

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Topics: Sales

The Power of Goals to Move Sales

Posted by Bill Hart on Apr 10, 2017 5:42:32 PM

Do you sales reps have written goals? Do your employees have written goals?

Goal setting is one of the most powerful tools and methodologies to improve engagement - engagement of sales people and engagement of employees. Billy Cox writes in the All Star Sales Book: Get in the Game, Boost Your Number and Earn the Big Bucks  “Why do such a small percentage of people reach the elite performer status? Why do these top few make most of the money? And, how can you become one of them? Winning in sales is no different than winning in sports, business, and life. The next generation of salespeople may know how to close a sale, but most don't know how to effectively develop their mental aspects of the game. As a result they never make it to the top and they sit around wondering why others with less talent keep passing them by. In the game of sales, business, and life there are no time-outs, no overtimes. You only get one chance to play. The question you have to ask yourself is, ‘Do I want to wait on the sidelines or do I want to win?'" 

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Topics: sales process, sales training, goals, engagement

Improve Engagement by Increasing Trust

Posted by Bill Hart on Mar 10, 2017 5:28:56 PM


Steven M Covey in the book The Speed of Trust states that companies that have high trust outperform low trust companies by as much as 286%. To get that level of performance, the employees are fully engaged. What does trust have to do with engagement? Everything! Trust is the foundation from which everyone builds relationships. 

According to  Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy, the first things people subconsciously think during first impressions are: 1) Can I trust you? 2) Can I respect you?  Trust is the beginning and the mortar of a relationship. Warren Buffett comments that it can take 20 years to build trust, but trust can be lost in 5 minutes through an untrustworthy act.

Trust is the foundation from which all relationships are built. People are not judging you on your competence first; they want to trust and respect you first, then they are open to learn about your competence. Trust is personal first. Then trust can be on the competence level, i.e. Are you competent in what you do?   

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Topics: Sales, employee engagement, motivation, productivity

Is Your Team Fully Engaged?

Posted by Bill Hart on Feb 13, 2017 3:07:01 PM

As you begin 2017 do you believe your team is fully committed? Is your leadership team all in? Are your sales reps all in? Is your customer support team and operations team all in? 

Employee engagement and team dysfunctionality are two areas that suck the life out of a leader. The leader knows that his/her people are not giving it their all or are not working as a team, but he/she may not have the knowledge to solve the problem. 

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Topics: employee engagement, motivation, productivity

Christmas- Why Bother?

Posted by Bill Hart on Dec 14, 2016 10:50:51 AM

It's Christmas Season - Why Bother will all the rush?

This blog is based upon a blog I wrote several years ago on Why bother with Christmas. It is worth reading again.

Last night we watched the Grinch That Stole Christmas which is one of my favorite Christmas stories. The Grinch hated Christmas for he thought it was all commercial and no real meaning. Do you have that perspective related to Christmas? Do you have the perspective with life in general, that there is not a real meaning?

Well, when the Grinch stole Christmas and Christmas still came, he knew that Christmas was "so much more than what can be bought in a store". His heart grew three times as big and he saved the slay, returned the toys and even "got to carve the roast beast." The Grinch had found purpose.

Too many times we lose perspective because we have lost purpose. Simon Sinek in his famous TED talk says that you must begin what you do with a purpose or begin with "Why?", not "What or How".  Beginning with "Why" gives you purpose.

If you are engaged in sales and your "Why" is just to make another dollar, then you will lose your mojo in winning customers over. They will begin to sense that your drive is all about you and not about them. Without a true purpose in Christmas, the holiday becomes trivial, "noise, noise, noise" as the Grinch said. Without purpose of wanting to help your customers be better, your sales efforts become self-centered and lose purpose. 

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Topics: Sales, Christmas