Sales Techniques

Instantly improve your online sales demo

The online sales demo isn’t easy. You’re miles away from each other, you’ve no idea if your prospect is really typing notes about your product or looking for their next vacation, it’s really hard to engage your prospect in conversation in the same way as meeting face to face and on top of that, the amount of time that’s acceptable to spend pitching over the phone is a lot less. The only thing that makes this a tougher gig than it already is, is when you’re presenting online to a group of people. So whether you’ve got 1, 2 or 10 people on the line, here’s my advice:

Get a full list of who’s attending before the meeting

You really don’t want to spend the first ten minutes of a 45-minute sales pitch getting to know who everyone is and who does what, you need to be able to get stuck into the presentation as soon as possible to keep everyone’s attention from the start, a quick hello round the table is enough.

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Feel Good Friday

Time to think about the long game..

Earlier on in the week, I published a post about how to deal with lost sales opportunities, you can check it here. I talked a lot about the importance of building relationships in this post.

We work in a world where we are driven to win new deals and we know client relationships are important to achieve that goal. But what happens when the goal becomes unachievable? Becomes lost? Like a switch the importance on the relationship with your prospect fades and we stop seeing the possibilities of the future. The possibility that your prospect could still be recommending you to colleagues, could move to a new organisation and bring with it a new opportunity for you, or maybe at some point, they could be a really helpful person your team needs for research on how your company sells its products. Being a believer in what can be achieved outside of the immediate goal,  I think the importance of the ‘relationship’ shouldn’t ever completely fade.

Feel good Friday

Go through your CRM and look at your lost opportunities (we don’t do that often I know). Pick out a sales prospect that struck a chord with you, maybe you remember something interesting they had going on in their business, maybe you had a good enough relationship that you shared information about your personal lives.  Whatever it is, use that information to drop them a message about how things are going with that ‘other’ project, or the house move or the recent promotion. Reach out and connect with someone about something that’s not related to your sales number. Reach out to show you cared about more than just winning the deal.

Have a great weekend


Why you won’t increase your sales based on averages

You know the data. Your average sales cycle, your average deal value, your average conversion rate. You live and breathe that stuff.  This post is not to say those things aren’t important. They are important for today, important for predicting revenue goals for this week or this month. But when it comes to making a change, when it comes to thinking about innovation within your sales process and improving on those data points, those averages are useless.

The problem is they don’t tell you anything. They don’t tell you that one of your sales reps booked meetings at twice the rate of everyone else last quarter. They don’t tell you that one of your sales teams produced 3 x the call volume in the last 3 weeks. They don’t tell you that last week a consultant in your team shorten the sales cycle by half on all new deals. They just tell you averages.

To improve the ‘averages’ you have to be able to spot the things that are moving the needle up and then ask how?


How is he producing double the activity of everyone else? What are that team doing to produce 3 x more call volume? How has one consultant shorted her sales cycle? Poke and question and poke some more and find a way to scale the stuff that’s really making the difference. Then watch your ‘averages’ improve. But stop looking at the spreadsheet hoping the numbers will do it themselves.

My question to you is, what are you doing to spot the people that are producing stuff above the line of average?




Sales Productivity

How you’re wasting valuable sales leads

50% of sales go to the company that just happened to get there first. It’s hard to ignore this statistic.  There are some very simple things you can do to make sure you are the first person to make contact with a new sales lead.

Call your sales lead within 5 minutes of receiving the web enquiry

Studies show that if you call your sales lead within 5 mins of enquiry, your chances of making contact are 100 times higher than if you wait for 30 mins, so call straight away. Salesman myth. Countless times I’ve heard. I’ll wait a bit of time, they’ll think I’m stalking them or something”. This is not true, your sales lead has requested information, they are waiting to hear from you, make the most of the opportunity whilst your organization is still fresh in their mind. Just pick up the phone.

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How to deal with lost sales opportunities

Whether your average sales cycle is one month or a year, it’s hard to deal with that ‘No’ when you’ve invested so much trying to win the deal, especially when your sales quota seems like an impossible task. We lose far more than we win, that is inevitable. What’s important is how you deal with the lost opportunities. Here’s my advice.

The business said no, not your prospect

It’s the company that rejected your product or service, not your contact who has been your champion through to the end, I remember this first and foremost. Build a great relationship with your prospect and when they become a real advocate of your offering, there is a good chance they will introduce your product or service at another company in their next role, this has happened to me many times. Leave a lasting impression on your sales prospect no matter the outcome.

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Sales Techniques, Sales Training

How to make your sales team great listeners

Scenario 1. Sam is off to a meeting with a prospective client. You’ve armed him with a bunch of questions he needs to ask, he’s prepared with his list:

Ask them what challenges they are facing today?Ask how long they’ve been experiencing these challenges? Ask why it’s important the business solves them now? Ask how they’ve tried fixing the problem in the past? Ask why those solutions didn’t work? Ask what other providers they are looking at? Ask them if they’ve allocated budget? Ask what’s stopped them putting in a solution like this before?

And the list goes on..

So Sam enters the meeting frantically trying to remember every question he must ask before he leaves. And here comes the problem. Sam is so focused trying to remember the questions on his list he isn’t listening to the answers. He might hear the answers and he might write them down, but he isn’t listening to them. The listening part is crucial, it’s the part that ignites conversation and uncovers everything he really needs to know.

For your reps to be truly great at listening, focus them on meeting ‘outcomes’ not meeting ‘questions’

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Feel Good Friday

Say thanks to a colleague

Working in Sales is tough. No doubt you’ve had your bad news as well as good news this week. No matter where you’ve been on the sales rollercoaster over the last few days I believe staying positive is important in being successful and I want to help you end every week on a high. Introducing ‘Feel Good Friday’


Friday 5th Feb

Pick a deal that you won this week or one that you progressed positively through your pipeline. Think about a colleague that’s really helped you progress or win this deal, whose help you couldn’t have done without. Before you finish off for the day, drop them a nice note to say thanks for their help, it’s probably not the last time you’ll need it.

Happy Friday Everyone






Sales Productivity, Sales Techniques

The most underused question in sales

How many of your sales prospects are you waiting to hear back from right now? How many are stuck in your sales pipeline and you’re not sure what’s happening to the deal?

I have seen hundreds of sales pitches over the years. As the sales person is doing their best to remember every question from the needs analysis training or detail every feature of their product, they all miss this simple question

“What’s the best way to contact you?”

Right now I have 20 unanswered voicemails on my phone, the chances of me listening to them are slim.  I’m in and out of meetings all day, so the best way to reach me is by text message, I’ll respond quickly.

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Sales Qualification

5 Questions that are annoying your sales prospects

Behind the words ‘lead’ and ‘prospect’ is a person and despite your desperation to know if you’ve got a qualified lead for your pipeline, resist temptation to ask the following questions:

Who is the decision maker in this process?

First of all, they might be the ‘decision-maker’ to you, but to your prospect they are a colleague or their boss, be careful on your use of language. Secondly, this question can belittle your contact and make them feel unimportant, you need this person to be your champion for your product or service, make them feel special. If you’re keen to find out who will have the final sign off you can ask in a gentler way, “So whose support will you need on your team in order to get this launched?” Make your prospect the hero.

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Sales Productivity

Working in sales? 5 ways to make the most of your downtime

Downtime we’ve all got it. That half hour between meetings, that 3-hour train journey, that time you’re delayed at an airport. Over the years, I learnt to maximise that downtime to my advantage so I was always learning or growing my sales number. Here are my 5 useful tips that will help.

On your way to the office 

It’s easy to zone out on your way to and from work, your Facebook account can be distracting. Even if you just use 50% of your commute time to learn, it will make a difference.

My top tips are…

  • Find a podcast you enjoy, there are many great ones out there. One of my favourites is The Growth Show by Hubspot.
  • Audio books are great on the go. A great audio book is To Sell is Human by Dan Pink. It takes a fresh look at the arts and science of selling.
  • YouTube, there are some amazing videos for sales if you look. Check out Gary Vaynerchuk. He is a master salesman with some great insight on all things social.

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