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

Putting Sizzle in Your Sales Presentations

The other night my husband and I enjoyed a delicious meal at our favourite restaurant, the Terra Cotta Inn. I ordered a steak and it was amazing. Here’s why: a yummy steak is a combination of good quality meat, careful preparation and beautiful presentation. It’s like that with our sales presentations.

I was recently providing coaching feedback on the pilot of a new high stakes product presentation that was being launched for a client. The observers in the room commented that the presentation felt dry and needed more ‘sizzle.’ Here’s what … 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

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

Sales Not Working? Try Different for Sales Success

I’d like to challenge you to try something different this week in your sales process. For example, to improve your sales success, you could change your opening question. Be surprising. See if you can wake up people – and yourself – by saying the unexpected. See if you get better sales results.

A blog post by marketing expert Seth Godin reminds me of a best practice that has worked for me consistently through my sales and personal life– to ‘try different’. Not try harder, but try different.

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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