Category Archives: Advanced Sales Training

The Truth About Relationship Selling

Relationship selling is a strange beast and countless authors have made many, many dollars explaining to sales people how to use it to their advantage.

Here’s a quick question for you;

Why do you think those buyers are entering into a relationship with YOU?

Is it because she doesn’t have enough friends? Maybe he has empty seats at his wedding, or do you think they’re trying to build a trade only pub quiz team, and they need you as captain?

Or maybe – just maybe – it’s because they make their living by meeting people just like us and getting the best deal for the most suitable product or service?

Just thought I’d throw it in there.

If you truly think that business is mostly about relationships, let me ask you another question;

How many bad second hand cars would you buy off your brother?

What the Buyers said;

While I understand they have a budget for these things, I don’t need constant offers to be taken to lunch, golf, or ballgames, particularly if I’m not currently doing business with them. I’m a fellow professional, not a date to be wooed.”

“I hate it when a salesperson tries to be my best friend on the first call!”

Solution

You need to understand that being a fairly affable human being is actually a prerequisite for the job. You have to be a likeable individual; you have to be someone that others wish to spend time with – that’s a given.

However, you’re never going to blackmail a professional buyer into something that isn’t right for them with friendship – and if you think about it, that’s a fairly horrible thing to do any way.

Understand that they have a job to do, if you want them to retain your services, then you need to give them exceptional reasons for doing so. Regularly give your time and expertise freely and continuously strive to be viewed as valuable – rather than simply likeable – by engaging in activities that they see as having genuine value.

Quick quote to finish from The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club – after Barnabas and Simeon have listened to a Preacher at Speakers Corner – which sums it up quite nicely;

“This is how you must be. You must become as evangelical about your promised outcome as he is about his. You must believe that you, and you alone, have the solution to your prospects problems. Even if they do not recognise those problems themselves.”

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The piece above is taken from an article which appeared in this month’s Institute of Sales & Marketing Management’s Winning Edge Magazine – after asking almost half a million professional buyers one simple question; “How do most sales people let themselves down?”

Once I’d worked my way through the answers, it turned out there were 7 recurring issues that cause salespeople to lose the sales they really should have won – here’s a sneak peek of the entire article if you missed it.

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Thanks for reading this article. On my blog, I regularly write about Sales, Sales Management and Customer Service issues, topics and trends.

I’d also be delighted to connect via Twitter, YouTube and of course, through Varda Kreuz Training.

Here are some of my other recent posts:

If You think It’s All About Price – Get Out of Sales

Top 3 on Amazon Best Sellers – Thanks

Are Your Sales Team Managing You?

Is Your Sales Team Culture Pirate Ship or Battleship?

About: Chris Murray is founder and Managing Director of Varda Kreuz Training, a company created to deliver sales training that really works – not in theory and not just sometimes, but sales training that really works. You can find out more about Varda Kreuz Training HERE or give us a call right now on 0844 923 9777 (UK)

His latest book, The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club has been heralded as the Da Vinci Code for salespeople.

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Filed under Advanced Sales Training, Relationship Selling, Sales Training, Varda Kreuz

Closing Techniques Don’t Win Sales

perfect face

The acronym EASE, breaks down into the four parts of any sales call, Earn the Right; Ask the Appropriate Questions; Solve the Problem and Execute the Solution.

It comes from one my books and we built the Varda Kreuz Foundation Level Workshops around it. During the first part of those Foundation Level Workshops, when we discuss with delegates what they’d most like to achieve, a large percentage regularly remark that,

“I just want to improve my closing, that’s all I need really. If I could close more sales everything else would fall into place.”

Which is partly true, however the ability to close effectively doesn’t have its origins in the fourth quarter of the sales process.

Anthony Robbins tells a great story about his meeting with a client, a plastic surgeon. He arrives early and while he’s in the waiting room, he picks up a book which the plastic surgeon has written.

As Anthony Robbins turns the pages, he sees pictures of the most beautiful people on earth, all surrounded by mathematical equations. This surgeon had actually worked out what it took to possess, and then how to create, the perfect face.

It turns out that, if the philtrum (the groove between your nose and top lip) is exactly the same size as your eye, your face would be in perfect balance – the perfect face.

One millimetre out and you have an average face, two millimetres out (according to Anthony Robbins) and you’re butt-ugly.

One millimetre out! Isn’t it amazing that something so small can make so much difference?

Let’s change the analogy.

Imagine if you’re sailing from Portsmouth, in the UK, to New York and your course starts out just one degree off.

One degree out doesn’t get you just outside New York – your little boat would find itself all the way up in Canada.

And it’s the same with every sales situation you’ll ever walk into.

If you don’t Earn the Right to sell to them, to be allowed to progress through each and every stage, right from the beginning – even misjudging it by the tiniest degree – you’ll end up miles away from a “Yes” by the time you get to your well-practised close, without even realising where it all went wrong.

Which is when most prospects turn round and say;

“Do you know what, I’m going to have to think about it!”

If you like – it’s at that point you could try to bully them with a couple of “sales mind tricks” – although I wouldn’t hold out much hope with an experienced buyer.

What the Buyers said

“Why do some salespeople think they’re being so clever? I see salespeople every day, how do they think some sleazy, worn out way of phrasing a close is suddenly going to make me change my mind? ”

“Salespeople should be honest. If they don’t know the answer to a question they should hold their hands up and say – sorry I don’t know the answer to that but I will find out and get back to you – rather than guess and are invariably wrong!”

Solution

Walk in understanding that if you don’t earn their trust at the beginning and throughout your conversation and presentation, they sure as hell won’t trust you with their money at the end.

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The piece above is taken from an article which appeared in this month’s Institute of Sales & Marketing Management’s Winning Edge Magazine – after asking almost half a million professional buyers one simple question; “How do most sales people let themselves down?”

Once I’d worked my way through the answers, it turned out there were 7 recurring issues that cause salespeople to lose the sales they really should have won – here’s a sneak peek of the entire article if you missed it.

****************************************************

Thanks for reading this article. On my blog, I regularly write about Sales, Sales Management and Customer Service issues, topics and trends.

I’d also be delighted to connect via Twitter and of course, through Varda Kreuz Training.

Here are some of my other recent posts:

If You think It’s All About Price – Get Out of Sales

Top 3 on Amazon Best Sellers – Thanks

Are Your Sales Team Managing You?

Is Your Sales Team Culture Pirate Ship or Battleship?

About: Chris Murray is founder and Managing Director of Varda Kreuz Training, a company created to deliver sales training that really works – not in theory and not just sometimes, but sales training that really works. You can find out more about Varda Kreuz Training HERE or give us a call right now on 0844 923 9777 (UK)

His latest book, The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club has been heralded as the Da Vinci Code for salespeople.

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Filed under Advanced Sales Training, Closing Techniqes, Sales Training, Varda Kreuz

The 7 Reasons You Just Lost That Sale

Recently I posted a question on the four most popular of LinkedIn’s Purchasing and Procurement Group’s discussion boards, which gave me the opportunity to ask almost half a million professional buyers one simple question;

“How do most sales people let themselves down?”

After working my way through the answers, it turns out there are 7 recurring issues that cause salespeople to lose the sales that they really didn’t need to.

The full article will appear in the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management’s Winning Edge Magazine later this month – but here’s an early, sneak peek.

You can download a PDF of the full article here.

For more information on the ISMM or how to receive Winning Edge magazine, you can find out more by following this link.

Best regards

Chris

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PS – My new book The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club is getting rave reviews and I am humbled by the number of people who have already discovered it – thanks for all your support. If you haven’t read it yet, you can download the first four chapters for free by clicking on this link.

New Varda Kreuz Case Studies HERE and Video Testimonials HERE

This year, I want to help you and your sales team become more successful than they’ve ever been before – call my office now on
0844 293 9777 or request a call back by going to our Contact Page HERE.

You and I can work out a sales training programme that suits your requirements perfectly – foundation level sales training, field sales training, account management training, selling value over price, FMCG sales training, customer service training, whatever it might be – but it’s a big old world out there and if you don’t take two minutes to invite me over, I may never know you need me.

We create bespoke sales training days from as little as £228 per person, so give my office a call today and we can get a date in the diary to start working on tailoring something just for you.

Chris Murray

0844 293 9777

By the way, if someone has forwarded you this newsletter, you can sign up to receive it directly from Varda Kreuz here

Varda Kreuz Sales TrainingManchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, London

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Filed under Advanced Sales Training, Business Development, Cold Calling, Customer Service, Sales Training, Self Improvement

The 4 Pieces of the Sales Management Jigsaw

If you’ve reached the heady heights of Sales Management and now feel that your day job can often be likened to herding cats, I’d like to share with you 4 words that will help you and your team to become more productive, more professional, more efficient, more effective and perceived more positively than ever before.

These four key ingredients, when put together correctly, have shaped many first time managers (and a few old hands) into exceptional leaders.

They are the four pieces of the management jigsaw that come together to create (what we at Varda Kreuz like to call) the FAME Effect;

  • Focus
  • Accountability
  • Motivation
  • Education

Let me explain.

FOCUS

You’ve got to start off by truly understanding the real role of any manager or leader.

It’s about working out where your focus should actually be, and why some of the jobs currently filling your day – shouldn’t even be on your to do list.

During our FAME Workshops we begin by taking a look at the need for goals, and the direction in which you’ll be pointing everyone – while understanding exactly where that journey is going to take you all at the end.

This set of goals and a clear sense of direction will lead you to a vision that will define what you expect from those who you’ve chosen to sail the ship with you – which then enables you to sharpen and direct their focus too.

Along the way, you’re also going to have to work out what it is you’re counting – what numbers really define success – and why. Work out whether the things you measure are truly important to arriving at your destination or not.

The way you measure your business is the way you manage it – so you’ll need to work out exactly what needs measuring and then measure nothing else.

Clear, specific, correctly measured, understandable, relevant, time-related.

FOCUS makes us ask – WHAT – as in “What jobs need doing?”

ACCOUNTABILITY

So now you know what needs doing, it’s time to work out who is going to be accountable for achieving each piece of the plan.

This piece of the jigsaw is all about defining responsibilities – yours and theirs – and helping individuals take ownership and the responsibility for nurturing their small corner of the global business garden.

You’ve also got to recognise what you’re accountable for and the need to be a role model – and that doesn’t mean doing their job for them.

ACCOUNTABILITY makes us ask – WHO – as in “Whose job is it?”

MOTIVATION

So, once you’ve worked out what you’re all supposed to be doing, the next thing a successful manager and leader needs to work out, is why anyone is going to care enough to finish the job, and better than that – care enough to finish it brilliantly.

Yes they’re probably being paid – and I know you think that should be enough – but really, is that what makes you jump out of bed every morning and do your best work? Or are there other drivers that come into play?

I’ll bet your incredible work ethic is driven by more than just money, isn’t it?

When you help a friend or maybe do a little work for charity or the community – do you put in less effort because there’s no monetary reward?

So, you’re going to need to start understanding key motivators, recognise what drives different personality types and why it’s impossible to motivate someone else if you’re not genuinely motivated yourself.

MOTIVATION answers the question – WHY – as in “Why is this job worth doing?”

EDUCATION

So now, you know what needs doing and everyone is passionate about helping you achieve it.

Education in this context isn’t about teaching anyone on your team how to suck eggs.

But the world changes continuously, in many cases what was standard just a few years ago can easily be outdated next week.

It’s about developing and nurturing fabulous talent so that they can be the best that they can be.

It’s about understanding and developing effective coaching strategies and communication skills so that every member of the team stays on the right path, and informed – in the correct fashion, but in no uncertain terms – when they are not.

EDUCATION answers the question – HOW – as in “How does this job get done with spectacular results?”

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To launch my latest book – The Managers Guide to Achieving FAME – I’m holding a number of FAME Sales Management Workshops throughout September.

The UK Workshop is taking place at the beautiful Mottram Hall in Cheshire on Thursday 25 September – and to ensure that I get to spend the appropriate amount of time with each of those attending, places are extremely limited.

I hope you can make it – together with a full day’s management training and all workshop materials, those attending will also receive a signed pre-publication copy of the new book and four exercises exclusive to this workshop to take back and use with their teams at their quarterly sales meetings.

I’d be delighted if you could join me on the day – if you can, take a look here for more details.

Best regards

Chris Murray

Managing Director – Varda Kreuz Training and Author of The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club and The Managers Guide to Achieving FAME

T: 0844 293 9777

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Filed under Advanced Sales Training, Management Training, Sales Management, Sales Training

The Wright Brothers Version of Advanced Sales Training

Marketing guru Perry Marshall tells a great story regarding the difference in thought process that led to the success of the Wright Brothers and the failure of all the others who were trying to achieve the same aim.

He explains the main reason that Orville and Wilbur Wright were the first guys to build an air-worthy vehicle, was that they focused on making the most elegant, efficient and aerodynamic plane.

What they didn’t do was focus on creating the most powerful engine.

At that time, everyone was obsessed with powerful engines. But powerful engines, especially back then, were really, really heavy.

And of course “heavy” is not a quality you want when you’re trying to defy gravity.

So, Orville and Wilbur concentrated on designing a machine that would stay in the air…ride the wind…float. They knew that once they achieved that goal, they could strap a good engine to their bird and the thing would stay up.

Meanwhile their engine-obsessed competitors were building powerful, heavy machines…and crashing back to earth.

What’s that got to do with sales training?

Well quite a lot actually.

You see, the sales model and mind-set your team work with, needs to be an aerodynamic plane…if they thoroughly understand the motivations behind peoples buying decisions, have the ability to uncover opportunities and turn those opportunities into recognisable needs and then keep moving every genuine prospect forward during each call or meeting…then by all means, you should go ahead and take it to the next level by helping your sales team to improve their overall effectiveness with some advanced sales skills and techniques.

To be extremely successful, both are crucial.

Skills and techniques that genuinely work and are useful within your industry, together with a foundation in buying motives, effective questioning, presentation skills and a real understanding of how and when to close.

A strong engine and a wind-worthy plane.

Unfortunately strapping those skills and techniques onto a team that can’t fly is just a waste of time.

When you next decide to invest in sales training for your team, ask yourself the following questions and work out whether or not you’re being sold an engine that doesn’t go anywhere, or a plane that’ll take you wherever it is you want to go – and can continuously be improved.

  • Put yourself in the customer’s chair – If these techniques were used on you, would you buy from the salesperson using them?
  • If you answered yes to the first question, following the purchase, would you feel – in any way – that you had been manipulated or bullied?
  • Does the training sound like a collection of techniques for selling AT someone or a toolbox that can be dipped into, to help your customers make great buying decisions?
  • Does the title involve the word advanced? If so, how much of the non-advanced training have your team already completed previously?
  • Also, which bit of the content allows this particular training to call itself advanced?
  • Is the training focused mainly on helping the salesperson sell or the prospect to recognise why they should buy?
  • Has this training been built to achieve the specific requirements of your team and business – or is this the same training they do for everyone?

Until next time, have a great summer

Chris

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PS – My new book The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club is getting rave reviews and I am humbled by the number of people who have already discovered it – thanks for all your support. If you haven’t read it yet, you can download the first four chapters for free by clicking on this link.

New Varda Kreuz Case Studies HERE and Video Testimonials HERE

This year, I want to help you and your sales team become more successful than they’ve ever been before – call my office now on
0844 293 9777 or request a call back by going to our Contact Page HERE.

You and I can work out a sales training programme that suits your requirements perfectly – foundation level sales training, field sales training, account management training, selling value over price, FMCG sales training, customer service training, whatever it might be – but it’s a big old world out there and if you don’t take two minutes to invite me over, I may never know you need me.

We create bespoke sales training days from as little as £228 per person, so give my office a call today and we can get a date in the diary to start working on tailoring something just for you.

Chris Murray

0844 293 9777

By the way, if someone has forwarded you this newsletter, you can sign up to receive it directly from Varda Kreuz here

Varda Kreuz Sales TrainingManchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, London

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Filed under Advanced Sales Training, Business Development, Drinks Industry Sales Training, Personal Development, Sales Training, Self Improvement

The Best Way to Ensure More People Buy What You’re Selling

The ExtremelySuccessful Salesman's Club

 

Do you know one of the most infuriating things about modern life?

Nobody wants to help?

You must feel it too sometimes.

Everything from the guy who’s in too much of a rush to let you out of that junction (would it kill you to leave a space?), to the time that you just wanted to exchange an unwanted gift at the customer service desk, or when you needed someone from another department to drop in a good word to get you that promotion.

And your customers recognise it more than anyone else.

Those prospects, the ones you called on last week those successful business people did you know that they spend some time, virtually every day, wishing that someone or something would just make their lives a little easier, to shine a little light down a seemingly endless tunnel, take some weight off their shoulders.

Do you know why?

Because nobody EVER does!

Those people might look brave and bold – hey, it’s part of their DNA, their personality types but, on the whole, you’ll find thats just a mask hiding a gritty reality.

  • The boss who’ll break her back trying to keep the balance of pleasing both customers and staff;
  • The small business owner who spends every day trying to keep a roof over his family’s heads and continue to help pay the mortgages of everyone he employees;
  • The CEO who wakes up at 3.00am worrying about problems that no one else in her organisation even realises exist.

And then, every single day, some schmuck walks in or rings up just to try to take some money off them.

Without fail, everyday, a sales person will desperately try and flog a $50 box that isn’t required and wasn’t asked for and after the box is politely declined, theyll try a sure-fire, never-fail closing technique to win them over.

And the reason it just feels like bad selling is because that’s what it is – no one ever tries to help them to make great buying decisions just sell them stuff.

So, if you want to stand out from that majority group of sales people, you need to start understanding why people buy your stuff and then work out how it helps.

From the word go you try to help selling should become a bi-product of helping, not the other way round – at Varda Kreuz we call it Earning the Right

Once they know you’re there to help, you’ve got to be ready to accurately diagnose the problem and present the solution in such a way that they can follow every particle of your explanation – and then you deliver the original promise – and you help them.

No one else is doing that no one else wants to do that no one else cares enough to do that.

Let your competition continue carrying in that $50 box you, my friend, are walking in holding the answer to your prospects sleepless nights.

Until next time, best regards

Chris

PS – My new book The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club  is getting rave reviews and I am humbled by the number of people who have already discovered it – thanks for all your support. If you haven’t read it yet, you can download the first four chapters for free by clicking on this link.

New Varda Kreuz Case Studies HERE and Video Testimonials HERE

This year, I want to help you and your sales team become more successful than they’ve ever been before – call my office now on
0844 293 9777 or request a call back by going to our Contact Page HERE.

You and I can work out a sales training programme that suits your requirements perfectly – foundation level sales training, field sales training, account management training, selling value over price, FMCG sales training, customer service training, whatever it might be – but it’s a big old world out there and if you don’t take two minutes to invite me over, I may never know you need me.

We create bespoke sales training days from as little as £228 per person, so give my office a call today and we can get a date in the diary to start working on tailoring something just for you.

Chris Murray

0844 293 9777

By the way, if someone has forwarded you this newsletter, you can sign up to receive it directly from Varda Kreuz here

Varda Kreuz Sales TrainingManchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool, London

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Filed under Advanced Sales Training, Business Development, Cold Calling, Drinks Industry Sales Training, Sales Training

Do You Want Better or Advanced?

When salespeople ask to be put on advanced sales training, it’s worth enquiring about their desired outcome.

Better or Advanced?

Do they want to advance what they’re already doing or are they trying to become better by changing something fundamental?

Other disciplines don’t seem to have the same issues differentiating between the two.

Take music for example. 

I had a few piano lessons when I was a kid, enough to learn the basics – stuff like where the notes were and what they were called. (Stay with me on this – it’s going somewhere)

As I grew up, I wish I’d done more – I really wanted to play that sexy, boogie-woogie blues.

The kind that people gather round and listen to when super-cool, talented guests just start playing spontaneously in hotel bars.

Later, I started earning enough money to buy a beautiful piano for my home. So I decided to make up for lost time and teach myself – building on what I’d already learnt in my childhood – and bought some music books.

However I’d never learnt to read music properly, I just knew the guitar chords above the notes.

So I had to improvise – had my own style going on – I still knew where everything was and what it should sound like.

Which was good – but not great.

You see, I sounded fantastic to a bunch of drunks in the local pub. I had the plonking sing-a-long rhythm of Hey Jude and Show Me the Way to Go Home to finish off any boozy night.

But there were still those people who had the ability to make a fifty year old, out of tune, upright piano just…bounce.

I longed to be that good.

I really wanted to play that ADVANCED stuff.

So, I started professional piano lessons again.

I was told that the first thing I had to do, was break all the bad habits built up over the years, start again and learn to do it properly.

Not the answer I wanted at all.

I wanted the piano teacher to say; “Hey you’re great! Just a tweak here and there and we’ll have you banging out real tunes in no time!”

What she actually said was; “We do this properly or not at all.”

The brutal truth dawned. There isn’t a piano teacher on earth – advanced or otherwise – who could take a student who knows a couple of chords but can’t read music to Rachmaninov by the end of a couple of lessons.

And sometimes – putting a sales team on “advanced” sales training is like giving a pianist, who can’t read music, the manuscript for a complicated concerto.

In the hands of someone who is ready for it – it will be amazing.

Those who aren’t, will just do their best with what they know and when they find they can’t get a decent tune out of the advanced stuff, they’ll just revert to playing their comfortable old tunes, all over again.

As sales people we should continuously look at how we do the things we do and ask;

Does this just need polishing to ADVANCE it to ANOTHER LEVEL or do I need to be doing something BETTER?”

I talk from experience when I tell you – no one will ever be impressed by a forty-year-old playing chopsticks in the Marriott cocktail bar at midnight?

Best regards

Chris

PS – My new book The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club is getting rave reviews – if you click on the book title above you can download the first 4 chapters for free

New Sales Training & Customer Service Case Studies HERE

This year, I want to help you and your sales team become more successful than they’ve ever been before – call my office now on 0844 293 9777 or request a call back by going to our Contact Page HERE.

You and I can work out a sales training programme that suits your requirements perfectly – foundation level sales training, field sales training, account management training, selling value over price, FMCG sales training, customer service training, whatever it might be – but it’s a big old world out there and if you don’t take two minutes to invite me over, I may never know you need me.

We create bespoke sales training days from as little as £228 per person, so give my office a call today and we can get a date in the diary to start working on tailoring something just for you.

Chris Murray

0844 293 9777

By the way, if someone has forwarded you this newsletter, you can sign up to receive it directly from Varda Kreuz here

Varda Kreuz Sales TrainingManchester, Leeds, Birmingham, Liverpool,

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Filed under Advanced Sales Training, Sales Training