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Sales tips

Your Sales Negotiation Style — free self assessment quiz!

Carrie Fisher said, “Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing”.

My motto when it comes to sales negotiation is

You’re either selling or you’re being sold.

Have you ever had that happen to you? Where literally five minutes into your sales presentation, your prospect went right from talking about who they are and what they need into what they can do for you. What the heck? Who called who to set the appointment? Attempted hijack.

What is your sales negotiation style?

How comfortable are you with negotiating? Remember, there is no room for meekness in sales. Don’t be the one being sold to in your sales presentations.

Before I talk about the five different sales negotiation styles, I’d like to share

Three quick and easy tips for painless negotiations.

Friends, if you are new to sales negotiation, be careful not to approach it as if it’s an argument.

Negotiation is simply a discussion between two or more people who are seeking a mutual outcome of providing the best possible solution for your prospect … Less expensive is not always the best option.

Create the value of your product or service. In order to do this, you need to know your competition, and what you and your company can do better, or different, or something that you can provide that they cannot. Don’t talk about your competition, just share your value. 

When you treat negotiations like a conflict, it might cause you to become unnecessarily aggressive or tense, creating a block for what you are trying to accomplish – helping the prospect.

Instead, be patient and kind to the person or group you are negotiating with. Listen carefully to their needs. If you can’t come to an agreement, be prepared to respectfully decline.

More than once in my career, this has led to me giving a “take away” close, where you close the door completely for negotiations. The prospect doesn’t expect a this and it takes them off guard! But you must be ready to walk away from the sale. Usually, when the prospect understands that they’ve pushed as far as they can, you will be able to come to an agreement.

2.  Be prepared.

Be over-prepared. Know your prospects needs and options. Know and be prepared to answer the five most common objections that the sales people in your company get.

 Respond quickly and confidently. Your prospects will find confidence and believability in you when you answer their objections confidently.

Before you begin negotiations, reflect on your own goals for the negotiation. What is your ideal outcome? Where can you compromise if necessary? This way, when you meet with the prospect, you will be more likely to stay true to your goals and boundaries, and be able to give the prospect what they originally told you they wanted.

3. Don’t take it personally.

Look at negotiations as a business transaction. Because that truly is what they are!

What your prospects opinions of you are are not your business anyway. Your job is to come to a mutually beneficial outcome. 

Also, don’t let your opinion of what you know, or what you think you know, start to cloud your critical thinking abilities. Don’t feel intimidated, because after all, you are the expert in your field, not them.

Let’s move into the five styles of sales negotiation.

Once you take the free quiz below and learn your personal style, continue to read this article, where I go into more detail on each type.

 First, we have the competitive negotiator. 

You are looking to get results quickly and have no time or patience for any foolishness.

 Here’s a tip – if this is you, sometimes your aggressive drive and determination may be a bit off-putting, and you may want to soften your approach, just a little.

When you play competitive, it can also bring out the competitive nature in your prospect. During these types of negotiations, we seem to go several rounds. I can almost hear the bell ring when we reach a standstill. That’s a great time to take a restroom break or offer a cup of coffee. Sometimes you need 5 minutes to cool down, so you can regroup, move on, and come up with a solution.

The second negotiation style is collaboration. 

Do you come up with innovative solutions to problems that no one else can see? Quick tip – if you and your prospect come up with a fantastic solution to their problem, be sure you’re not giving too much away. It’s easy to become caught up in the enthusiasm of the moment, which can end up costing you time and money. 

The next style is compromising. 

You are dead set on finding the middle ground. You know that a good outcome is one that ends in camaraderie, not competition.

 Make sure, however, that you look at all the options available, and don’t just settle for the first one you come up with.

The fourth negotiation style is avoidance.

You are not a fan of negotiating at all. Your idea of solving a problem is to avoid it for as long as possible, or until someone else steps in and does it for you.

If you are fearful when it comes to negotiating, take a look at the other negotiation styles, find the one that you feel the most comfortable with, and read up on how you can adapt to it.

And the last negotiation style is accommodating. 

You are always looking for ways to help the prospect, no matter what it takes. Just be careful, because while you are expecting them to reciprocate  your generosity, your prospect may have other ideas …  like taking all of your great ideas to someone else to help them.

If this is you, try to be a little “less generous” – you’ll still be giving way more than most would.

So which style are you?  No matter which style you are, it’s important to understand them all, because sometimes your negotiating style is dictated by that of your prospect. Be prepared to meet them where they are, so you can give the prospect what they want while they don’t completely take advantage of you. 

Read the most recent posts:

Why (and How) to use a Daily Sales Planner

Why you should use a daily sales planner

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS, AT NO COST TO YOU. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Even though I have a great sales CRM platform available to me, I still like putting a pen to a pad (or planner) on the first day of every month. Writing down my monthly sales goals, including my monthly sales target, my weekly sales target, the times I will schedule the necessary appointments each day, and the “top prospects” of the month.

By defining my sales objectives and creating those weekly and monthly sales targets on the first day of every month, I am setting myself up for a successful month.

Once you decide on what your sales targets are, you will be able to decide the steps and strategy to get there.

I also plan in a time at the end of each week to assess how the week went. Did you hit your sales target for the week?  

What worked in helping you reach that target, or …

What went wrong and how can you correct it to get back on track. So that you can quickly identify the gaps you need to fill to reach your target.

This weekly planning and accountability using a daily sales planner helps you to know exactly how much money you will be putting into your bank account every pay period.

Within my main sales target, I look at the breakdown of how much I need to sell of a certain product or service.

Your sales mix.  Widget A and Widget B.  Maybe your commission or bonus is higher on Widget B. You want to make sure you are keeping track of that breakdown as well to insure you can maximize your income.

I break that down even further. Not into a dollar amount I need to sell, but into how many actual widgets I need to sell to reach my sales goals.  For example, would you rather have to sell $50,000 or 10 widgets?

The more attainable your goal feels to you, the more likely you are to achieve it!

Your personal objectives and goals should be clear and measurable. With very specific numbers, and specific dates that you will reach those goals by.  For example, I will sell 13 widgets a week.

Once you have that target in place, work backwards to create the exact strategy for how you will reach that goal.

How many widgets do you sell to each customer? (your average sale amount).

How many customers do you close on average?  One in two (50% close ratio), a two in three (67% close ration), one in three (a 33% close ratio).

From here you can determine how many sales appointments you will need to create the sales opportunities you need.

And, in simple form, your monthly and daily sales plan is created.  

First ,state your sales objectives. Then decide your strategic direction on how you will reach your objective, with daily and weekly monitoring of your actions and results.

When you have a great daily sales planner to help you, it’s magic.  

A great daily sales planner will help you put the systems in place and help you monitor your progress, but you have to do the work . The magic is you. And the time you spend at the end of every day, week, or month to strategically plan out what you need to do to hit your sales goals.  

A great sales planner just helps to make it your life easier by giving you a place to refer back to to hold yourself accountable so that you can quickly correct your course instead of missing your targets.

I am a big believer in the power of the written word, or in this case, plan.

Take time at the end of each week to schedule in the time for the next week. Time you will need to prospect, run appointments, and process agreements.

If you don’t plan in time for each of those three activities, one or more of them won’t get done.  The more planned-out your week is, the more urgency you will feel in the need to stay on track to complete your important sales activities.

I like to “batch” activities throughout the day. It’s based on how many activities I need to include. I also like to work the type of activity according to what my energy levels are during certain times of the day, scheduling the least demanding activities during my lowest energy level times (like right after lunch).

What would your perfect “sales day” look like,

and what would you include so that you could have repeatable success every day?

Mine would include 3 appointments a day, with 2 ½ hours in between appointments. That way I will have enough time with each prospect without either of us feeling rushed.

So, let’s block out appointment time of 10, 1 and 3:30.  If I know an appointment needs more time before I meet with them, I will allow two appointment slots with them.  Before you do that, make sure that the prospect is worth two appointment slots.   

Decide on your agenda for each meeting and the expected action you want your prospect to take at the end of the meeting.

I also know that I need about two hours of prospecting time a day. One hour to reach out to new prospects. Another hour to follow up with prospects that have not bought from me yet.  Your schedule may be a little different, but probably similar.  

I like to do my prospecting first thing in the morning. 9 to 10 am, and then again later in the afternoon at 4 or 5 pm. I’m a night person, and my energy levels are just getting started at 5.  I have found that this is also the time when more people will respond to me faster.

By putting this prospecting time in my daily sales planner, it is like setting another appointment. But this one is with myself, to do the things I know are important to consistently reach my weekly and monthly sales targets.

When you “break” these appointments with yourself, you end up losing and trying to play catch-up. Not what you want to do be doing at the end of the month.

Once you have the main outline in place, you can fill in the who and why. 

Having an organized strategy and goals with a plan on how to reach your goals will make it easier to hold yourself accountable and stick to the daily plan.

You should have a 7- day, and a 30-day sales plan. A good sales planner should have enough room to keep track of up to 90 days at a time.

How and when should you create these sales plans? 

The good news is, that with a hard-copy daily sales planner in front of you, it’s easy.  Once you make it a habit to keep up with this planning, it will become a second nature to you, just like in the Unconscious Doer Stage Four of the Sales Transformation Road-map System.

For the 30-day sales plan, I set it on the first day of each month.

In this plan, I have my monthly and weekly sales target numbers. I include my top 10 target prospects for the month, and 3 specific actions to take every day to get the results I want.

List the specific sales you plan on closing during the month. Then write down the things you need to do to close those sales and process the business.

I find that my monthly top 10 clients will account for 75% of my monthly goal. Secondary clients – the new clients that are just entering your sales pipeline, will fill in the rest.

For the 7-day, or weekly, sales plan, you want to have your plan in place for the next week before you end your week on Friday. 

It is incredibly motivating to have a plan, and appointments, in place for the next week. It makes you actually look forward to going to work on a Monday morning!

Transfer the things you didn’t complete last week to the next week – only if it is something that will lead to a sale.

And I review my day before I leave, every day.  I update the following day with what I need to do and when. Then I close the planner for the night.  

When you start the next day, open the planner, and your sales CRM program, and dig in.

Ultimately, your discipline and your decision to follow your sales plan is your key to success.

Recent Posts:

How to Be Successful in Sales in 2021

Going into a new year and being successful in sales in 2021 means re-evaluating our sales from last year- what worked this year, what didn’t, and put a plan in place for 2021.

When you are evaluating your sales and your actions, ask yourself these two questions:

1. did this action bring in results this year? and 

2. if not, then did you really give it a fair chance and put an effort into making it work or did you just make it a haphazard effort?

We all love the things that give us immediate results, but it’s not always possible. Especially this year, when we have had to be a little more creative in our selling. 

We’ve had to be a bit more strategic and put plans in place to win.

Creating and sticking to a daily schedule has been helpful for keeping my mind focused on selling.

Mornings are for phone calls and presentations and afternoons are for prospecting and reaching out to people that I haven’t spoken to before. And I end the day speaking again with people I already know. 

I prefer the mornings, because they know the people and it’s easier.

Afternoons are harder and may not bring immediate results, but I am planting seeds for future business. I end the day on a high note, with people I know again, who are closer to doing business with me or to buying this month. 

Your schedule may look different, but starting and ending the day positively is good for your psyche. Do what feels comfortable for you — just do it and stick to it.

Being successful in sales in 2021 means being regimented — having a plan and sticking with it, especially if you are working remotely and don’t have the structure you might get by working in an office.

I’ve been doing big sales prospecting email campaigns,

both to my existing and to new clients, and retargeting (or calling) only those people that open my email. 

When I can see that someone has opened an email two, three or even four times, that person gets a call. 

Use the available technology through your CRM, like Salesforce, to help you see when your emails are getting open and reach out to those engaged people.

It’s kind of like pre-qualifying your prospects through your messaging before you even meet them.

Tedious, yes, but much better than sending out letters and postcard mailers and not being able to tell who’s actually paying attention to you. 

Even if your company’s marketing department sent out emails, send your own.

Make them look different from what your company is sending. Try and create a “feeling” with your emails that will make your prospects want to read more from you and even “meet” you. Probably through a phone conversation or a virtual call.

I’ve also had to do extra things, because even now not everyone uses email!  Really!!!

So when I can’t email them, instead of just dropping that proposal into snail mail, (it’s called snail mail for a reason, trust me), I will drop it off at their front door, if they are local, or overnight it.  Then we can talk about it on the phone and close the deal.

I batch my days where I will spend the morning once or twice a week delivering three or four proposals. It’s not the best situation, but waiting for that mail to get delivered could take a week or even more. This way I know they have gotten it.

This also shows my prospect that they are worth the drive, and it creates an urgency that just saying “I’ll put it in the mail for you” does not.

I know you’ve all heard of work smarter, not harder. And I am in absolute agreement of that statement. But to me, it doesn’t mean work smarter – work less. It means work smarter so you have the time to do more!

Like doing the things to build your future business that you might not see immediate results from (remember that ongoing tedious email campaign?)

Especially if you are a new-ish person in sales.

There are so many companies looking for salespeople.

I see a lot of people getting their insurance licenses, and people getting their realtor licenses, and going into sales. 

You will get tons of product and service training, I promise you that. But not much direction on what to do with that training.

If you are new-ish in sales, get the free sales transformation roadmap right here. See how you can go from a newish salesperson to a top sales performer.

Welcome, and congratulations on your new career!

And for those of you that have persevered and continued selling this year, congratulations to you for everything you’ve done to stay relevant and successful, and adapting sometimes weekly to get the job done.

Some of you may know that I started my sales career in New York City. 

You’ve heard the Frank Sinatra song New York, New York—“If I can make it there, I’m going to make it anywhere”.

2020 – if I can make it this year, I’m going to make it any year. 

That song has become the theme song for many of us in 2020.

Think about it, whether you are new-ish or a seasoned, top-performing salesperson, if we can get through this and come out on top – or at least not too bruised, the rest should be easy, right?

Which leads me right back to the beginning, … and we come full circle.

To summarize, how to be successful in sales moving forward into 2021:

✅. Batch your time into similar tasks that you need to do. Start and end your day on a high note.

✅. Re-evaluate, keep doing the seed planting in December and January, and watch what grows.

Embrace technology like email and web conferencing to connect and stay connected – be creative if your client doesn’t have the capability printing out a proposal by personally dropping it off at their location if they’re local or overnighting it if they’re not so, that you can shorten the sales process time. Then review the proposal, answer questions, and close the sale over the phone. (There’s another thing I NEVER thought I would say!)

✅. Encourage more referrals – without even asking. Sometimes just sending a holiday card or an email can “remind” someone how wonderful you are.

✅. Take the extra time you have at home and invest in improving yourself (notice I didn’t just say sales – but taking time for personal mindset or a new home fitness program in 2021 is imperative).  

Recent Posts:

Creative Ways to Find Sales Prospects

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS, AT NO COST TO YOU. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

One of the biggest challenges in sales that I know —  whether your direct sales, online sales, or business-to-business, is … how do I find sales prospects and get in front of more people? And my answer is – find an online outlet where you can share what you do with more people than you ever thought possible.

Social media has helped immensely me to find sales prospects.

And I started off with nothing, with a “side-hustle” podcast and a dream of online course creation.

Whether it’s a blog, or a podcast, or on social media site like Facebook or Instagram live videos- meet your sales prospects where they are hanging out so you can let people know what you do.

The larger real estate companies provide you with your own website, where agents can post valuable information about their communities and available listings.

If you own your own business, you can do the same thing to find sales prospects. You can use Pinterest pins to drive traffic to your website, your blog or your podcast.

Pinterest, if you don’t know, it’s a search engine like Google.

You can “pin” there, which is kind of like a sales page for what you do, and actually add a  link there to the website where you want your audience to go! At no cost to you! 

And it’s not just for interior designers, scrapbookers or recipes. You can even use Pinterest for local audiences if you’re a real estate broker or an insurance agent.

On Facebook, you can currently put a link to your blog or podcast within your post, or in your header if you sign up as a business (for free).

Are you a real estate agent, an insurance agent, travel agent, are you selling a product, service, supplement, fitness program, coaching or online classes? Do you already have a blog or podcast of your own so that you can share with people about what you do?

Using the power of a blog or a podcast to find new sales prospects is incredible, even if you don’t have a following yet.

And isn’t that really what you want? Followers that come to know, like, trust and love you – I think this is sounding like an easy way to find sales prospects!

How much faster could you close a sale if your potential client already felt like they knew you, before you even met them?  How much easier would it be to connect with that person if they already knew who you are and what you can do to help them accomplish their own goals?

Let’s recap:

A blog or podcast, where you can share information about what you do.

Explain to people why you do what you do is important. Let them know what you have or do (you’re offering) does, and how it can help someone… How is this not better than making phone calls, knocking on doors, sending out endless letters to strangers to find sales prospects?

With a blog or a podcast, there are ways to help them to find you instead of you “prospecting” to find them!

Think about your own buying habits.

We have our weekly groceries, cars, clothing, makeup, whatever delivered to our door. So you have to find a way to get into your potential clients online buying habits. Meet your prospects where they are.

How do we do that?

By popping up in their search engines, like Google or Bing.

Let’s say you sell insurance or real estate in the local area. You can started a small, local podcast where you speak each week about the different types of insurance you offer. To help people become knowledgeable and educate them. 

You can sign up on Instagram and started as a local business account (for free). Then drive people from your Instagram to your podcast, where you educate them, and they get to know you. 

Eventually, you start to pop up in their search engines on Google as a local business.  When they are looking for insurance, or a new house, they will find YOU – do you get where I’m going with this?

And it will work for anyone with the product or service –

From dog walkers, to artists, to dentists. Why do you think podcasts are so popular right now? Because they can drive traffic to you and your business, while educating prospective buyers in their own space and time.  WIN-WIN.

Obviously there is a time of start-up and growth here. But what if you were to start as an additional way to find more sales prospects and get in front of more people? Continue to use the traditional ways you are using now, while you are starting up the online or social media part. Because, let’s be honest here, how well have the traditional ways been working for you lately?

With more and more people being socially connected online, and finding goods and services online, doesn’t it make sense for you to create a bigger online presence for yourself?

The cost is minimal.  I use Simplecast for $15 a month.  It does take me about 4 hours a week to publish the podcast, but I have over 1,500 downloads a month.  That’s almost 400 people a week who are listening to my message and allowing me to help them increase their sales. My listener base grows every month and allows me to expand out into even more areas.

There’s no way I could see 400 people a week, without even leaving my comfortable chair!

We can’t keep using the same old ways of direct mail and cold calling over the phone.

There are so many other avenues to use, where the people are more receptive and are already hanging out. Try something new and add it into your regular mix of prospecting tools.

Tell me — are you really seeing many of those “company-generated” internet leads? Or are they going to other people?  What if you could generate your own?

You don’t have to sell on your podcast or blog.  Just let people know what you do and how they can reach you!

Here are some statistics that may help you understand the potential of starting a podcast to find sales prospects.

According to music.com based on studies conducted by companies like Nielsen and Edison there are currently 1,000,000 active podcasts and 30 million episodes.  This is up from 2019 — 700,000 active podcasts with 29 million episodes and 2018 with 550,000 active podcasts with five million downloads.

They are growing because people are listening. Think about that, and listen to these statistics before you shake your head and tell yourself this can’t work for you.

55% of the US population has listened to a podcast. 37% listen every month. That’s a hundred and fifty million people. 24% listen weekly, that’s a hundred and three million people. 6% are Avid fans.

Weekly podcast listeners spend an average of 6 hours and 39 minutes listening to podcasts per week.

People listen to my podcast, the Sales Made Simple podcast, for about 67 hours a week. For 4 hours a week of input from me! That’s like hiring a full-time assistant or two for $15 a month.

Podcasts attract wealthier and better educated people. 80% listen to the entire episode!! Where else does this happen? Do 80% of your prospects listen to your entire conversation? Check out these statistics here for yourself.  

Weekly listeners of 103 million people spend six hours and 39 minutes a week listening to podcasts.

If you would like more information on getting started with a podcast of your own, fill out your information and below and I’ll send you a free how to start your own podcast checklist and guide to help you get started with finding more prospects easily. 

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Recent Posts

How to Become a Top Sales Performer

The best way to help you become a top sales performer is to start from the beginning.

So let’s see where you are in the process.

The Visualizer – Stage One of the Sales Transformation Road-map.

As you probably know by now, I’ve created the Sales Transformation Road-map to help you see where you are now — what stage you’re in on your sales journey, and to guide you on what you can do to push on and get to the next stage, or level, and become a top sales performer.

This article focuses on stage 1 – The Visualizer, because if you’re anything like me, we’ve all felt a bit like we’re back in stage one again this year, at times.

I’ve had to rethink a lot of my “sales structures” this year, relearn a new way of doing things to stay successful, like adopting new technologies and email campaigns instead of cold calling on the phone. This was super frustrating at times. As a successful saleswoman, I’ve been doing this long enough where I should have it all figured out, right?

The Sales Transformation Road-map
The Sales Transformation Roadmap

But 2020 has turned a lot upside down and kept me on my toes. Adjusting, readjusting, and going back to where I started. Back in April and May it felt like I was changing every week. It reminded me about what it was like when I first started in sales, when I was a Visualizer. Because I felt right back there again this year.

When you are a Visualizer, you know you want to create a life for yourself with more income and more freedom, but you aren’t sure exactly how to become a top sales performer.

You may have had some sales experience before, and some success prospecting and even in closing sales. But it’s not consistent, which makes it very difficult to project your monthly income.

Your company may offer some sales training to you — but probably it’s more like products training on the products or services that you’ll be selling, not necessarily how to sell it. You are probably spending a lot of time listening to  sales podcasts, watching YouTube and reading sales books..and wondering how do you relate all that to selling in 2020 so you can become a top sales performer.

So you’re a bit stressed out, frustrated and maybe even thinking about taking a break from your sales job. I get it!

In the beginning of April 2020, I was really scared about how I could possibly make sales work. Luckily, I had used Zoom for my online trainings, so I was very familiar with how it works with virtual selling. Unlike most of my colleagues that had never even heard of Zoom.

I kept pushing through, because I believe in what I am selling and how it helps people.  Ask as we speak, I am back to selling remotely from home.

In stage one, you feel like you are barely keeping your head above water, with all you have to learn and all you have to do. Between your business and your personal life, it’s overwhelming at times. 

I definitely felt like that again this year. In fact, I still do. How do you do everything you need to do and still find time for yourself and your family?

By the time I get home at night it’s hard to find energy to do much more than sit on the couch and watch TV, or is it just me? On top of that, your inner critic is mean and keeping you stuck by telling you to give up. Your inner critic is designed to help keep you safe… But sometimes I just want to lock it up! You are trying to create a positive change in your life – don’t let your inner critic stop you.

Lastly you may feel like other people are influencing your decisions and your lack of ability to move forward and find success – like that sales manager that doesn’t provide much guidance to you I say help yourself. Because no one wants success for you more than you do. No one is coming to save you, and if you want it badly enough you have to figure it out.

So how can you pick yourself up and help yourself move from Stage 1, the Visualizer to Stage 2, The Standardizer?

Start by assessing your current habits and identifying those things that you want to change.

Take a look at the things that you are doing now or have tried before that do not work for you. Determine what is working for you right now. You don’t have to do it all – do what works for you, because that is what will make you successful.

 We all have our own strengths and weaknesses. Do what works for you.

Watch with the best sales people in your company are doing to be successful – what can you learn from them?

Also, ask yourself why you want to be a top sales performer? Is the money and the freedom to do things with your family? Is it saving for a new house or a new car?

Be very specific on why you want to be a top sales performer. Have a you have a visual of what you are working so hard for. You are more likely to not give up if you know exactly what and why you are working to achieve something.

If this sounds like you, go back and listen to episodes 1 through 6 of the Sales Made Simple podcast. When I first started this podcast, I went through the most basic things first. Episode 1 through 6 are designed help you in this stage.

Just to show you what is possible for you, and give you something to strive for,

Stage 4, the Optimizer, is someone that can easily move through the sales process without even thinking about what needs to be done or said.

A top sales performer.

They can easily handle objections, and asking for the sale is a piece of cake.

So you see, it is possible!

If you want to download the entire roadmap / guide click here. You will see all five stages or levels of the sales success and what you can do to grow from one step to the next, until you become a top salesperson! Let me know what stage you relate to the most with where you are now.

The reason I thought it was so important to do this with you and walk through is because we are all waiting for that day in the near future when we can travel and be with our friends and family again.

Don’t you want to know you have the resources and money to do that when we can?

So work on your success. What you choose to do now will affect how you were able to live your life next year at this time. Keep moving forward, even if it’s only a little every day.

 Focus on where you want to be, not on where you are now, and thank you for letting me be a part of your journey. 

Recent blog posts:

How To Handle Objections in Sales Pro-Actively

How to Pro-Actively Handle Sales Objections

DISCLOSURE: THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS, MEANING I GET A COMMISSION IF YOU DECIDE TO MAKE A PURCHASE THROUGH MY LINKS, AT NO COST TO YOU. PLEASE READ MY DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Many of us see sales objections as a sign of rejection or even the start of negotiations. If you have this mindset, just waiting every time for the battle to begin, you will battle – every time. Because it’s what you expect and you’re waiting for it to happen, and you’ll probably end up lowering your prices.

But, what would happen if you started your presentation with the mindset that objections from your customers are really just questions that you haven’t answered yet?

And what if you started handling sales objections pro-actively, right from the start, before your prospect even had a chance to bring them up?

How to Handle Sales Objections

Part of what should be in your sale toolbox should be the top objections that you and other salespeople in your industry get. 

These are objections that will come up in every sales presentation, almost every time.  So doesn’t it make sense to include the answers in your presentation before the prospect even has a chance to bring them up? 

That way, when the prospect brings them up again, (and they will) you can say “Remember earlier when I said ________?” and review what you said again. Meanwhile, this will be the second time that they hear it. Whether they remember it or not, thereby making the objection addressed twice and easier to overcome.

When you do this, you are not doing objection rebuttals and being reactive,. But you are being proactive and addressing objections conversationally.

You can overcome sales objections in a way that will show your prospects that you are experienced in handling how they are feeling. This goes a long way in earning your prospect’s trust and confidence. It also show them you are capable of doing what you say you can do.

Mindset — handling sales objections proactively or reactively? Managing sales objections smoothly and showing your experience, or planning to go into battle (drama)?

And if you do find an objection that does need to be better clarified for your prospect, use this five-step sales objection system.

1. Listen to their objection, without interrupting.

2. Restate what their objection is to make sure you understand completely what their objection is.

3. Respond carefully and quickly. When you talk about the objection for too long, your response starts to sound insincere.

 4. Describe how you can remove the barrier and

 5. Ask your prospect if your answer solves or answers their objection.

 Professional and battle free.

But what if the objection is price?

Are you asking for more money than they think they are willing to pay or are your products or services are more than they thought they would be (sticker shock)?

While I am a big believer in letting your prospect feel like they have won, when you automatically lower your price, you are also lowering your value that you have worked so hard to establish during your sales presentation.

Right from the start, make sure you are helping the prospect see how the solution you are proposing will meet his needs.

Many times when a prospect has a price objection, they are really saying, “I don’t see the value” or “I don’t trust what you were saying”. Work on perfecting your presentation so that you establish trust and show your value right from the beginning.

Ask mini-close questions,

like “Do you see how this would work for you?” throughout your presentation. If your prospects says, “Not really”, you can stop and go back and address that right then. Instead of getting to the end of your presentation and having to start all over again, and trying to guess where the disconnect happened.

Handle sales objections pro-actively before they become harder to overcome.

If you are not doing these mini-closes, or trial closes, and a prospect has an unanswered objection or early on in your presentation, it becomes difficult for them to focus on anything else you say. Because all they are thinking is, “I don’t see how this will work for me”.

Remember a sales presentation is a conversation, not a one-sided Ted Talk from you.

If the prospect says, “It’s more than what we thought it would be”, ask, “Well how much did you think this would be?” And let them tell you.

Ask them what they thought would be included in that amount, or what the amount was based on. Sometimes it’s based on a price that they spent on something 5 or 10 years ago. So find out what the price objection means before you start lowering your price.

And instead of lowering your price, change the options or services and give them a new price on that.

Try to close the price gap from where they are and where you are. At the same time create value for the items or services you are removing from their proposal.

When you quickly drop your prices without making any changes, it creates mistrust with your prospect. You will see that they will adopt the mindset of “how low can I get them to go?” Now it’s a battle.

One reason I may offer a discount is if they pay in full, or if they purchase by a certain date. Make your discounts interactive, where the prospect needs to do something to “earn” the extra discount. Allow them to win, if they earn it.

Ultimately, if you believe you are providing the best solution for your prospect at the best price you can offer,  and the price gap between what you were asking and what they are willing to pay cannot be closed, you may need to walk away. Knowing that some people’s decisions are purely based on price but won’t budge on services. Champagne taste on a beer budget.

You can certainly get their permission to follow up — maybe they will come around. It’s hard to walk away, but sometimes it’s necessary.

So, you know I’m all about the mindset of a salesperson, and it’s no different with handling sales objections.

Are you looking for a smooth transition to close the sale, or do you expect a battle on pricing? Because you will get what you expect.

How do you react when you get objections from prospects? Especially the ones you just can’t seem to get past, no matter how well you explain them.

Do you get defensive, or do you stay calm? Do you become frustrated, or do you keep moving forward? Keeping your emotions in check can be a challenge — sales can be exhilarating and exhausting. The less reactive you are, the more likely you are to move past a difficult situation and get the sale.

How to Handle Sales Objections Pro-Actively

To review how to handle sales objections pro-actively:

● Know the most common objections 

● Have a conversation 

● Provide an amazing solution 

● Create value 

● “Discounts” should be interactive 

● Mindset is everything. 

Recent blog posts:

How to Set Sales Boundaries

Setting Personal Boundaries in Your Sales Job

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Setting sales boundaries with your clients, and your co-workers, requires patience, and strength. It’s something you have to decide ahead of time and plan for it. Stick to your decision, or you will find yourself feeling frustrated and resentful — with people calling you early in the morning, late at night and on weekends.

For phone calls, you can record a welcome message stating what “open” hours are. I don’t check my emails after work hours. But you can’t do that for texts. 

The hardest type of communication for me to avoid are texts, because you can’t miss them. A text requires a more immediate answer than a phone or an email. Although I have found a way to put an “out of the office message” on my iPhone. If you would like that tip please send me an email and I will share that amazing tip with you.

Setting Boundaries In Your Sales Workplace
Sales Boundaries In Sales In 2020

Sometimes it is easier to do some work at home after the kids go to bed. That way can have everything set up and laid out for you when start working in the morning. It has allowed me to work 4 days a week when they were little, so I could spend more time with them. There’s always a trade-off, and the choice is yours.

The point is, set your sales boundaries.

For example, right now, when I am off, I am off. Because sometimes I work weekends, I may take a day off during the week. I had to work to get people in my office to understand that the day off is not a day for them to send me messages and expect me to call clients back. And I give them the sames respect.

When I did take those call and messages, I found I ended up working for 4 or 5 hours, on my day off.

When you’re in the sales, people will always have something they need from you.

But if you are not taking the time you need to work out, get basic housework done, go to the dentist, do laundry, etc, you will become tired, overwhelmed and resentful. So now, when people call me on my day off, my office tells them, “Nancy is not in the office today but will be back tomorrow”. And I haven’t lost a customer yet because of it.

How about setting sales boundaries with your clients.

Do they call or text you regularly after hours or before hours? If you’re okay with that, fine. If not, you may have to change your phone greeting to reflect the hours you will be “on call” and available. I think the biggest thing is to let your customers know and keep them informed. 

Part of why customers get frustrated with salespeople is because prospects and customers don’t know what to expect. So be clear in your message — your clients and your co-workers will learn to respect that space.

Setting sales boundaries with “perpetual prospects”.

Have you ever had a potential client continue to set up a meeting after meeting, where you were hoping, and they were promising, to spend their money with you? When was the point that you realized that they were just using you to get some work done for free? Or they were using you to provide that third quote they needed to make their decision, or they just came in to chat and pick your brain?

Has that ever happened to you? In my earlier sales career, I would spend time with these people, sometimes hours. And the more I gave, the more they wanted. But when it came time for them to buy something from me, they would have excuse after excuse. Sometimes going so far as becoming upset with me for having the nerve to ask for a sale. I call these people “perpetual prospects”.

This includes people that repeatedly stopped in to see you without a sales appointment.

Over the years, I have gotten better at asking questions to weed out these “time suckers”. For one, I limit my meeting times with them to 20 minutes. Set the boundary. 

If I find they are price shopping, and I am number two on a list out of three, I ask them to see me last. I want to be the third person they see. Some prospects will accommodate me. When they do come in to meet with me, we can usually come up with an agreement. 

Others become angry, especially if I ask them to come to my office. Not only am I am in a bidding war, but they want me to go to their home or office. Draw the line. They have probably already made their decision. They just want you to make them feel better about their decision, without even having enough skin in the game to get into their car to meet you at your location, where you can show them how you can solve their problem in a better way than your competition can.

I have found the more demanding a sales prospect is, the less likely they are to buy from you.

So, we’ve talked about setting boundaries with your co-workers, and setting boundaries with your clients. There are times it is okay to nicely and respectfully say no.

Now let’s talk about setting boundaries with yourself.

There are some times that we want the sale so badly that we may compromise our own values. If you have a vision for what you want your life to look like, it’s easier to set boundaries with yourself. This will allow you to reach your goals faster.

An example of this is – how many hours you were willing to work each week. I will work up to six days a week, but I need that one day off. 2 days would be even better, but let’s remember you were in sales and probably working on commission or salary plus bonuses. If you want to make the good money you have to be laser- focused at work to accomplish what you want in the shortest amount of time possible.

When you are planning your calendar, enter the things you need to do for yourself first —

Those things that will help you run at optimum capacity, like doctors appointments, oil changes (you can’t drive anywhere if you don’t maintain your car), even work-out time and time with family and friends. You need that time to unwind. Then plan your client appointments around that.

By setting your personal boundaries and deciding how to handle the “boundary breakers” before they even happen, you will save your sanity and be better equipped to politely put your foot down, while still being able to serve your clients, and your entire business, in the best way possible.

Take your power back and make the decision yours.

And remember those people that become very demanding. Are they a customer or a Perpetual Prospect – demanding more of your time and resources without showing any signs of buying, except on going, long-term promises?

Ultimately how you run your business, which is what you are doing in a commissioned position., is up to you. The better the plan you have in place, the happier and more productive you will be.

Setting Sales Boundaries in 2020
Setting Healthy Sales Boundaries

2020 and 2021 have been a different kind of year for everyone, hasn’t it?

They’ve been the biggest years of changing and adapting ever, and while the basic sales tips and techniques still serve me well, I’ve had to adapt to more virtual and remote selling, even better preparation before presentation, using new technology – the list goes on.

One thing I’m really struggling with is taking time for a “vacation”. For one, it’s not like I can hop on a cruise ship and disappear for a week. 

I have found the opportunity for virtual and remote selling means that I am taking sales calls even when I am home, because I can! I think customers expect you to be more available, as the days seem to run together for all of us. Is it Sunday, or is it Tuesday?

Setting sales boundaries has become something I’ve had to work at even harder.

While I love my sales career, I also need to clean the time for myself. When will I take calls and texts, and at one point do I let them wait for the next day?

As a salesperson, it’s extra hard, because many of us are paid only on our sales performance. It’s hard to set those boundaries when it affects my livelihood and the opportunity to make money.

It’s harder to tell people that I’m going away for the weekend, or even the day – with social distancing and all. Especially when my prospects for spending more time at home, too.

Because I’ve been very clear, and adamant about setting boundaries, it’s all working out, but it has taken some extra planning, and my being a little more comfortable with saying no. I have been limiting the amount I spend “checking in”, or checking messages on my my phone.

So, if you are feeling like you are having a tough time separating your business life from your personal life, and creating a new work/life balance for yourself, here is another tip for taking that time for yourself, without alienating your customers.

Stand your ground.

Set the times that you were available, and not available. It helps if you are clear in your voicemails and email auto-responders about your availability, and when or how long it might take before you get back to someone.

I stay a bit later at the end of the day to make sure I return every phone call and email I have gotten that day. I have always done this, but setting that boundary, and lettering people know that may take me a little longer to get back to you is working. 

It did take a while for people to get used to this, but there’s only one of me and I want to give everyone the attention they deserve, not just jumping from one client to another and getting nothing completed.

I don’t think I’m the only one feeling this way, which is why I feel it’s important to talk about. We are just trying to figure out our “new normal” and learning how to get through a very stressful time.

In fact, according to Teachable, there has been a noticeable increase in sleep disruptions. As our routines and schedules change, and with the extra stress placed on us… I am either sleeping really well or I am up aimlessly wandering the house in circles at 3 in the morning. I know it’s not just me, because I can see those emails from you all come over at 3 a.m., too!

It can be tempting to get some work and if you can’t fall asleep. Fight that urge and do your best to stick to a “work schedule” to help you maintain those boundaries you are working so hard to set up.

Just know that you are not alone in trying to figure out how to make this year and it’s new challenges work for you.

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