Partners in Performance Blog

What Are the Steps in Your Sales Cycle?

If you don’t know the answer to this question, it’s costing you sales. I challenge you to address it. You should be able to list your sales cycle steps on one sheet of paper.

In a recent blog post, I wrote about the importance of mapping out the specific steps in your sales cycle. Even though every situation is different, it makes good sense to have a proactive, intentional approach to guide opportunities forward to a successful conclusion. People rarely do this. Why is that?

Everyone “gets” the importance of mapping … Read More

How Listening and Sales Go Together

An often overlooked sales skill is listening. And I mean really listening. To the point of “zipping it!” Listening is a pre-requisite for persuasion. If your client or prospect doesn’ t feel heard, they will resist your offer.

Here’s what I tell my clients who want better sales results: Listen with the intention to hear. So often we fall into the bad habit of listening with the intention to answer without really hearing what’s said. This is flat out dangerous. It costs you sales.

For example, when coaching sales people on … Read More

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

6 Persuasion Elements in Storytelling: Are you Using These Tactics?

Yesterday was the final ‘presentation showcase’ day for Pro Track Speakers Academy – a yearlong boot camp for emerging speakers at the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS). I had the privilege of evaluating the final presentations along with two of my esteemed CAPS colleagues Peri Shawn and Richard Peterson.

While we covered the gamut in our feedback critiques, the art and skill of storytelling was the prevalent theme that was woven throughout the fabric of the day. Everyone incorporated story and more than a few were masterful storytellers.

Read More

Presentations That Persuade – Create Word Pictures

Storytelling is both an art and a skill. Our guest author Dr. Patsi Krakoff wrote about this in “Presentations That Persuade: Stories Drive Action,” last week.

For me, there’s nothing more compelling than watching a masterful storyteller in action. It is magical. Ever since primitive tribes sat around a fire to tell their adventures, we’ve become fascinated by stories. But how do your become skilled at this when making a presentation?

Here is one technique that will take your storytelling game to the next level and … Read More

Presentations: Is Persuasion a Dirty Word?

In the work I do coaching people in sales and presentation effectiveness, I see people being tentative about the word “persuasion”. They don’t want to come across as pushy or manipulative. With this mindset, they beat around the bush. Is that true for you?

In many ways, becoming persuasive is like making money or losing weight: everyone wants it, but few do what they need to do. They want it, but at the same time, they’re afraid of it. In fact, people sabotage their own efforts.

Every day we’re trying … Read More