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Handling price objections: Check expectations

This is the first article in a series on how to handle price objections or, to be precise, avoid them from arising in the first place. It can be a huge waste of time to go through the consultative sales process only to find out that your prospect has massively different expectations about what it would cost for a solution to their problem.

Why consultants can excel at consultative selling

consultative selling

Sales people rarely make good consultants but consultants can learn to be great at consultative selling. It does not mean getting a personality transplant and ditching their integrity and principles. In fact it is those very things that give them the edge at winning business in the world of technical services.

If you are an ambitious consultant who wants to be a successful principal consultant or start your own consulting business then you will need to develop your selling skills. Fortunately, with consultative selling, its probably easier than you think.

Sales jargon de-mystified: qualifying a sales lead

qualifying a sales lead

The way I teach qualification on my Consultative Selling Masterclass is to tell the story of when I travelled 5 hours for a “dead cert” sales meeting only to find that the person I was supposed to be meeting was on holiday! On the 5 hour journey back I vowed never to let that happen again because it was a massive waste of time. That was the day I truly learnt the importance of qualification as part of the sales process!

How do you define consultative selling?

I have seen a lot of definitions of consultative selling which are a little dry and unhelpful. This is my attempt to define consultative selling in a way that is more meaningful to you!

Sell like a doctor

The easiest way to define consultative selling is to use the analogy of visiting a doctor

Imagine going to a doctor with a medical problem. You would expect the doctor to ask some questions and maybe do some tests in order to diagnose your condition. Then the doctor would prescribe a course of treatment that they believe will solve your problem.

Is your sales proposal letting you down?

sales proposal

Lately I have been working with businesses who want to reduce the time it takes to close the sale. They are each selling different things to different people but one thing they have in common is that they are getting a lot of interest at the sales meeting and then, too often the sale stalls and ends up going nowhere. A common factor in each case was a weak sales proposal.

The proposals looked good in terms of presentation style but if you had not been involved in the sales discussions then it was actually very weak.

10 Essential Soft Selling skills to develop in 2013

soft selling in 2013

If you want to make selling easier for you in 2013, my recommendation is to focus on some of the soft skills which make selling easy rather than the deceitful and manipulative tricks that you get in many sales books.

These soft skills are actually life skills and they are all learnable. I know this because I had to learn them and continue working on them to this day! And the great thing is you can use everyday life as a teacher.

Buying motivation - the key to Soft Selling

buying motivation and soft selling

The classic line in marketing is “people do not buy a drill, they buy a hole”. I am going to be very brave and say that from a sales perspective that is complete and utter rubbish!

People do not buy a hole and if you take time to understand a prospect’s buying motivation you will quickly discover that people buy a drill for many reasons. Why do they want a hole?

And why do they need a new drill? Why do they want one right now?

10 questions to answer before you start writing your own business book

writing a business book

A business book is a great marketing tool for people in the business of selling their expertise and know-how. Instead of thinking about it as just a book, however, you should be thinking of it as a product your ideal clients will want to buy.

The 7 biggest mistakes business owners make when recruiting sales people and how to avoid them

hiring sales people

Hiring sales people can be a risky business, even for large companies with sophisticated recruitment processes, let alone a smaller business run by an accidental sales person with no background in sales management. Hiring a good sales person can be one of the best things you do for your business but equally it can turn out to be an expensive mistake and the source of a lot of heartache. Here are 7 of the biggest mistakes to avoid:

Mistake # 1 - Assuming all sales people can sell

5 mistakes people make when writing sales proposals

If you find yourself regularly losing sales even though you thought you had it in the bag then it might be worth making sure that your sales proposals are not letting you down. Here are 5 common mistakes I find when reviewing sales proposals for clients:

Mistake #1 - Not enough detail

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