Partners in Performance Blog

Pitching Disguised As Questions

In the work I do helping sales people to become more effective, we focus a lot on questioning skills. Let’s assume it’s your intent to ask questions in order to uncover your customer’s needs, likes, dislikes and perspectives. Here’s a typical question that is used by many sales professionals.

“If I could show you a way to easily solve your problem, would that be of interest to you?”

Let’s look at this question and examine why it isn’t effective.

Here are just a few reasons:

The intention behind the question is … Read More

Favourite Client Stories: How Jim’s Success Almost Got in His Way

Jim Bentley (name changed) is a well respected, seasoned sales professional with solid expertise in the financial services industry. He has long standing clients, with whom he enjoys excellent relationships. He is one of the top sales producers for his company. In spite of his sales success, he almost missed out on solidifying one of his best client relationships.

Jim participated in the Intentional Selling™ program as part of a company wide initiative. Part of the training process includes identifying limiting assumptions that might unconsciously block sales success. … Read More

Top Sales Errors: Why Pitching Product Doesn’t Work

Questions will help you persuade more powerfully than any other selling behaviour. Yet the number one error that I consistently see sales professionals make is not asking enough questions to clarify the needs of their clients.

In my sales training and coaching, I’ve seen even seasoned sales professionals lead with their product, solution or ideas rather than leading with questions. Pitching product (showing up and “throwing up”) is hoping that if I talk about my product enough, something will stick. But it will annoy, overwhelm and cause your client … Read More

How to Avoid Sales Sabotage

In a previous post I told Jim’s story about how he self-sabotaged his sales with a client. Jim was a client of mine who was already successful in sales. He had doubts that the Intentional Selling™ program could add anything new to his sales results. But he gave it a good try anyway, with much encouragement.

He ended up gaining new respect – and new sales – from his client. Had Jim continued to work under his previous assumptions about the client’s needs, without delving deeper into the discovery process, he would have missed a big opportunity.

Anytime you operate … Read More

Smart Sales People: A Common Mistake Even They Make

Sales professionals clearly understand the need for structure and process for the delivery of their products and services and yet, many of the smart sales people I talk with don’t have a clear process for selling. Having a clear sales process is very important and here’s why.

A clear sales process allows professionals to be who they are and to demonstrate their expertise during the selling process. For example, in all our sales training we incorporate a 6-step process that easily aligns the selling process with your identity as a consultant.

The 6-step sales process is a framework that guides … Read More

Self-Sabotage and the Sales Process: Jim’s Story

As service professionals, one of the ways we help our clients create breakthroughs is to raise their awareness of the assumptions and beliefs that sabotage their results and limit their potential. Many times, sales people aren’t even aware of their own assumptions about selling, or about their client’s needs.

In my coaching work, this is one of the first things I address with my clients. What are you assuming to be true, without examining it in light of the current situation and/or client? Even the smartest, most brilliant sales professionals are amazed at the ways in which they actually undermine … Read More

Sales Mistakes: Confusing Marketing with Selling

A big mistake some professionals make is confusing marketing with selling. In my work with Partners in Performance and as an Intentional Selling™ coach, I have met many professionals who are not crystal clear on the distinction between marketing and sales.

They see marketing as a way to avoid the dreaded job of selling their services. This resistance to sales is illustrated below.

One of the former “Big 5” professional services firms responded to fierce competition by rolling out a sales coaching program for their associates and partners in North America. As one of the coaches involved, I quickly learned … Read More