Category Archives: Sales Training

New Sales Resource Articles Including: 5 Breathtakingly Brilliant Sales Questions

During your next sales call try these 5 breathtakingly brilliant questions

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/you-need-ask-every-customer-5-questions-chris-murray

This month I’m hosting two Selling with EASE Workshops – one in Manchester & one in London – But be quick, less than 10 places left at each

https://vktopenworkshops.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/sales-training-2/

Are you really happy leaving your Sales Team alone with a stranger? Here’s How to avoid the pitfalls of Sales Training

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/beware-leaving-your-sales-team-stranger-chris-murray

Preparing for contract negotiations & renewals? Make sure you’re ready for these tactics used by professional buyers

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/secrets-professional-buyers-learn-negotiation-courses-chris-murray

Sales Managers – Stop feeding your sales team a fish at a time & let them take ownership with an accountability NET

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-create-self-sufficient-sales-team-chris-murray

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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 293 9777 (UK)

His latest book, The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club has been an Amazon Number 1 Best Seller and heralded as the Da Vinci Code for salespeople. Download and read the First 4 Chapters – completely free – here.

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Filed under Business Development, Sales Management, Sales Training, Varda Kreuz

The Dangers of Outsourcing Sales Training

I was approached last month by a European Training Magazine, to write a regular monthly article with regards to Business Development and Sales Training.

The first “The Perils of Outsourcing Sales Training” – will be published later this month.

Clearly I can’t just make this freely available outside the magazine – they would fall out with me pretty quickly if I did that – but I wanted to make sure that all those with access to all of my other free resources and articles didn’t miss out.

In the article I talk about;

  • Finding a sales trainer who shares your philosophy on sales – and actually cares about helping you and your team hit your targets
  • The truth regarding return on Investment, and what you can really expect rather than the bloated promises and percentage figures that some people just love to throw around.
  • How to ensure you’re working with someone who has studied the art and science of sales and also actually been there and done it (rather than just reading about being there and how others did it once).

If you go to this link and simply enter your first name and email address, the link for the PDF with the full article will appear in your inbox automagically within minutes.

Hope you find it useful, best regards

Chris

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Thanks for reading this blog post. 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.

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 293 9777 (UK)

His latest book, The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club is an Amazon Number 1 Best Seller and has been heralded as the Da Vinci Code for salespeople.

Leave a comment

Filed under Sales Training, Varda Kreuz

The Real Secret to Sales Success

There’s a secret to business success – which, if you’re already doing it on a regular basis, won’t be that much of a big surprise – but that’s probably only around 5% of all the salespeople out there – so I think it’s worth sharing.

It took me quite a long time to recognise this little nugget of truth for what it really is, and then distil it into a couple of memorable, tweet length sentences – but here they are.

The reason my career soared, while others around me splashed around in a muddy pool of bitterness and mediocrity – was due to this simple fact;

I went out and got business – most people want to be given business, so they can go out and get it.

Go on, read it again – it’s deeper than you think.

But that’s how my career stepped up – one rung at a time – and kept on rising.

When there didn’t appear to be any business – I found a way to create the opportunity

When there was a shortage of customers – I went out and found some prospects.

When the fishermen went home hungry and defeated, telling me not to bother even trying – the first thing I’d do was dredge the pond – in case they’d missed something.

Then I hiked over to the lake and tried again, while they all went to the pub and talked about the one that got away.

Hey, sometimes I went home with less than they did.

But they made a habit of giving up – I made a habit of never giving in.

Some will tell you the secret of success is simply rising and then staying above mediocrity.

That’s not far wrong.

I’ll add to that and say, while you’re pulling yourself above mediocrity, make sure you also develop your tenacity and positivity muscles too.

This wasn’t me being better than anyone else – or smarter, or more knowledgeable, or being given a better patch with better prospects.

It’s just that – when people gave me the opportunity (and wage) to go and grow their business – I didn’t expect them to give me leads on a plate.

I went out and found business for them – and brought it back with my tail wagging.

So the real secret is this;
Below average salespeople wait for their business to create sales leads. Above average salespeople create business opportunities, and become Sales Leaders
(Average performers, who aren’t putting in the effort, are just riding a wave of luck – which never lasts long)

You can sit at your desk just hoping, hitting the send/receive button if you like – or maybe leave it to chance that the social media campaign, website or marketing department will bring prospects directly to your door – and hey, some probably will.

But that’s the same business everyone around you has access to – including the competition. It was coming anyway – with or without a salesperson to pick it up

There’s a reason diamonds are tough to uncover– the really valuable stuff isn’t found just lying on the beach for anyone to pick up.

Fill your pipeline with pebbles if you want – but diamonds are what they’ll congratulate you for.

So where should you start – where’s all this business hiding?

  • You find it with new clients
  • You find it with disgruntled old clients
  • You look for new opportunities within existing clients
  • You portfolio sell across the board

On top of that;

  • Don’t moan when there’s no business – that’s your job – go and get some
  • Don’t treat customers like one night stands – learn how you genuinely help and watch your results prosper when you start to put that into practice.
  • Learn what you don’t know and get better at the stuff you do
  • Listen to, emulate and take advice from winners – never whiners
  • Stop trying to find the quick way of doing absolutely everything – find the most effective way, and then perfect it.
  • Do one more call, every day after what used to be your last call. Forty weeks a year, equals two hundred extra calls. If we work on one in ten, ask yourself – what would twenty more opportunities do for your pipeline?

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Thanks for reading this blog post. 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.

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 is an Amazon Number 1 Best Seller and has been heralded as the Da Vinci Code for salespeople.

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Filed under Sales Targets, Sales Training, Self Improvement, Varda Kreuz

This is the Salesman I Could Have Become

One of the main reasons I lasted long enough to become successful in sales and sales management, was the simple fact that throughout my career, a few people saw my potential and had the tenacity and patience to help me see it too.

I’ve quite literally filled books with the lessons they passed on, but here are just three that made a huge difference.

I need to share this with you before we go on – when I started my career in sales, I was appallingly bad, absolutely shocking. I was cocky, unreceptive, under the illusion that I could simply glide through with a smidgeon of natural talent and a touch of charm – and I shudder at the memory.

But it turns out, that’s precisely what enabled me to write my most popular books and sales training programmes for Varda Kreuz – in fact I meet ‘young me’ fairly regularly during training workshops – and I try to distil into twenty hours what a couple of incredible mentors and bosses showed me over the course of twenty years – and I’m forever grateful for the information they shared with me.

Lesson Number 1 – Deliver Value to the Business or Get out

When I was growing up, no one would ever have called my family wealthy and by the time I hit my teens I’d still never met anyone who I’d now classify as rich, and aspired for very little other than to possibly one day own my own home and drive a car.

If I had enough for the rent, an appetising fridge and enough for a few weekend beers with the boys – I was happy enough.

My first business to business sales role was a tough education – but they invested in me with training and sales tools and in return I put my suit on every day and polished my shoes.

Just earning the flat basic wage didn’t bother me, it would have been nice to receive a little more commission every month – but if it didn’t happen it wasn’t the end of the world.

I turned up for work with a smile and hoped sales would follow me in – but if they didn’t – hey, no worries.

I have to say it came as quite a bit of a shock when they fired me.

And although I don’t remember that particular sales manager as one of my favourite bosses, he changed my outlook on sales so that I’d never fall over so stupidly ever again – after that I made sure I made a difference and that the people who mattered saw the difference I was making.

Lesson Number 2 – Understand How You Help

For a good few years I walked in to see customers and sold AT them. Actually, that’s how everyone I knew sold – it’s still how most people I meet sell to this day.

Even after a week of solid, expensive, highly focused sales training with a big multi-national company – I had no concept of how I helped anyone.

We didn’t talk about it, we weren’t trained on it – no one internally saw it as a requirement or cared that it might be a better way of doing things – or produce more business.

It was a buyer called Terry Wiseman who helped me see it one Christmas.

Terry worked for a wholesaler – and told me that my generic Christmas Promotion was a bag of ****, pointless, not fit for purpose and that (correctly) it had been thought up by marketeers on the fifth floor who had never met a customer in their life.

That year I sold 5 boxes through Terry’s business.

The following Christmas I held up my hands, admitted that my ignorance towards customer buying motives and arrogant attitude wasn’t going to deliver either of us any bonus – and that’s when he opened my eyes.

He showed me why people bought my products, how they used them, what they needed them for – what flicked their switch, the quantity that they liked to purchase, the add-on purchases that could be acquired with the right bundle deal.

I sold 10,000 boxes that Christmas

Actually, it only occurred to me while writing this, that this lesson was delivered by a Wiseman at Christmas – and let me tell you, it was worth its weight in gold – Terry helped me see something I would later describe like this;

People buy drills because they want to create holes – bad salespeople present drills, great salespeople help them achieve the hole they need.

Lesson Number 3 – Make Sure You Can Go Back Again

So now my career is going through the roof – I mean flying.

Company-wide memos referencing my big wins are coming from the Managing Director’s office, I’m getting personal letters of thanks from the chairman and I’m regularly asked to host sales meetings to share my insight and techniques with the rest of the business.

I’ve had two promotions in six months and I’m being considered for another – a big one – before Easter.

And that was when my Sales Director – Craig Campbell – dropped a bombshell during my end-of-year appraisal.

“I know what you’re doing Chris – and it’s time to stop.”

“What do you mean ‘what I’m doing’? I’ll tell you what I’m doing – I’m knocking every sales target out of the park, I’m securing previously thought unwinnable contracts on a monthly basis, and I’m getting listings that no one has got anywhere near achieving in the last twenty years – that’s what I’m doing!”

The memory of his stare fills me with a chill to this day – and still makes me want to shut up immediately and leaves me feeling stupid twenty years after the event.

He put his pen on the appraisal document and slowly and precisely pointed out that my search for glory was about to fall flat on its own fat backside.

Yes – I had a knack for helping people, delivering the solution they needed and writing proposals that people actually wanted to read – and yes that had led to business going through the roof.

But that was the last time a customer ever heard from me.

Even when things went wrong or didn’t work out as well as I’d promised – I left their calls unanswered – I was too busy chasing the company-wide recognition, the next big win.

But that industry – just like every other – was too small to treat existing customers so badly.

My thinking was at least six months short of short-term thinking.

Contracts and tenders would come round again in a matter of months, new product launches would require presentations to the same groups of people, even if I moved to another business appointments would be few and far between because I’d lost their trust – and testimonials and referrals were just about to dry up and never return.

He also pointed out, that further down the line when I had my own sales team to manage, their reputation would be tainted by mine and no one would want to see them either, so that would end in failure too.

Craig shared all that with me, I nodded in embarrassment, his expression stretched into a smile – he told me that my future was bright and that I should do something about getting it back on track – and then he bought me a drink to toast my imminent success.

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Thanks for reading this blog post. 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.

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 is an Amazon Number 1 Best Seller and has been heralded as the Da Vinci Code for salespeople.

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Filed under Business Development, Personal Development, Sales Management, Sales Targets, 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.

Leave a comment

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.

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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 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.

Leave a comment

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

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

money pppp

I recently spent some time with an extremely senior group of sales people from one of the world’s biggest companies, who told me that everything was down to price.

No it isn’t.

Take for example their business. Ten senior sales people, big cars, expenses accounts, support staff – that’s a cost per person of at least £100,000 a year.

So that team of ten cost at least one million pounds to keep on the road – and they were a tiny percentage of the entire sales team.

When I suggested to them, that if all their problems were indeed down to price – and that the sales team could make no difference whatsoever – then surely getting rid of just those ten salespeople and changing the business model to a click down menu on a website, would save the business at least one million pounds.

If we did that, we could knock £1 off a million units immediately – if it was all down to price, then that’s the problem solved.

They didn’t like that idea at all.

But that unfortunately is the undeniable truth.

If the sales team don’t know or can’t explain the difference between their business and a lesser priced competitor – they become an expensive folly.

What the Buyers said;

“What’s the point of sales people who are unable to justify their mark-up percentage and margins?”

“Of course I’m going to hammer everyone down on price, that’s my job. That doesn’t mean to say I want tat! Getting the job done and receiving great value is what I’m paid for too.”

Solution

Work out the 5 reasons you are better value than the competition and then learn how to explain that to your customers.

Remember, evangelists don’t try and tell you about heaven to secure their place, they’re already going. They tell you because they don’t want you to miss out on paradise.

That is how you should be with your product or service. Get in there and help prospects make great buying decisions before some con artist tries to rip them off, overcharge them or sell them something they didn’t need or don’t want.

Watch a short Video relating to this article HERE

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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 – which I wrote 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 caused salespeople to lose the sales that they really didn’t need to – 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 and of course, through Varda Kreuz Training.

Here are some of my other recent posts:

Why Salespeople Should Learn How to Sell Lemonade

Is Your Sales Team Culture Pirate Ship or Battleship?

Sales Training – Do You Want Better or Advanced?

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.

15 Comments

Filed under Price Objections, Sales Training, Varda Kreuz