Category Archives: Varda Kreuz

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.

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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

A Christmas Prayer for Salespeople

christmas-513471_1280

MAY YOU BE SEEN AS YOU WISH TO BE VIEWED, helped as you wish to be helped; and in return, recognise that those you call on long for someone to do the same.

May the charlatans and half-jobs never darken your door, but with the knowledge that they exist, drive you to reach every prospect an hour before the dishonest get a chance to knock.

May you wake every morning eager to help the world achieve their dreams, and everyday find someone who is just as interested in helping you achieve yours.

When you need to be heard, may you find someone who will listen wholeheartedly to every word; and by doing so, teach you how to listen with all of your heart.

May you always be charged honestly for the services and products you require, and in return, offer the same courtesy to all who purchase from you.

May you always be asked questions that empower people to help you, and by doing so, enlighten you to help others by asking exceptional questions of your own.

May your days be free of naysayers and pessimists; but filled with memories of raising others to the heights they aspired to reach.

And may the year ahead be filled with the smiles of the people you love and the knowledge that your happiness and prosperity was procured by delivering happiness and prosperity to others.

Have a fabulous Christmas and wishing you an exceptional New Year

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.

Here are some of my other recent posts:

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

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

 

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Filed under Christmas, Varda Kreuz

Call Yourself a Salesperson? 5 Questions to Uncover the Truth

death of a  salesmanThere are 5 questions below, which if you answer honestly, will give some indication on what effect you genuinely have on your sales figures.

To my mind there are far too many people out there, earning the well-deserved wages of someone who has had a positive impact on the continuous prosperity and profitability of their company – but whose wages are only affordable because of the continued prosperity and profitability of their company.

Subtle difference in words – huge impact on business

Funnily enough, I know a few dentists who would score higher than some professional salespeople on these next 5 questions, and yet they would never consider themselves to have the skills or confidence to deliver the results a professional salesperson would be expected to in the same situation.

Funny then, that so many salespeople – who don’t really have any effect on customer choice or end of year sales figures – believe that they are ultimately responsible (and take most of the credit) for the success of entire companies.

Take a look at the questions below and rate yourself – honestly – by scoring:

2 for YES, ALWAYS:

1 for MAYBE, SOMETIMES: and

0 for NO, NEVER

1. If no one did your job, would prospects and customers decide to stop buying from your company?

2. Would YOU happily buy your children’s medical insurance or organise your mother’s nursing home requirements with a salesperson who treats their customers in exactly the same way that you treat your prospects and customers from beginning to end?

3. Can you explain to prospects why you are a better alternative than lower priced competitors?

4. If you were aware that someone would definitely benefit from your product or service – but they’d convinced themselves that they don’t want what you’re selling – should they still be a classed as a prospect?

5. Before presenting and selling your product or service as the cure do you seek to fully understand the customer’s symptoms (pain, underlying problems, needs)?

Scores

10 Points – Yep, you’re in sales and you’ve got a pretty good idea of what that actually means to you and your potential customers – nice to meet you.

7 – 9 Points – Clearly, your job involves some real sales work, and by the look of it – you’re really quite good at what you do. But be honest with yourself – which question didn’t you like the look of (and why)?

4 – 6 Points –Two possibilities here; You’re either doing the best you can and would like someone to help you get a little better or your “company brand” sells itself and you’re just simply facilitating its movement.

1- 3 Points – Once again, two possibilities; You’re either doing the very best you can and would really, really like someone to help you improve or you thought sales was an easier option than getting a real job and didn’t understand most of the questions.

0 Points – Three possibilities this time: You’re either a conman, have no idea what your job actually entails or just decided to read this article out of idle curiosity.

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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 A Bit of Fun, Quiz, Sales Targets, Varda Kreuz

Help – My Sales Team Are Busy Doing Everything Except Selling

BARNUM-AND-BAILEY-CIRCUS-POSTER-1917-31IN-BY-23

In this blurry new, multi-tasking, on-line opportunistic world in which we all now live – it can sometimes be a little difficult to work out where marketing strategy stops and the sales process begins.

So, as a sales manager, it’s become more difficult to draw a distinct line between all the things a sales team should be doing – and all the activities that they love to spend time on – but lead them away from the straight and true path of your perfectly worked out plan.

I’ve always liked how this quick circus analogy explains the differences between Marketing (Advertising, Promotion, Publicity, PR) and Sales.

If your circus is coming to town and you pay to have a poster on a billboard that says “The Circus Will be at the Football Ground on Saturday,” that’s Advertising.

If you put the same sign on the back of an elephant and walk it all the way through the town centre, that’s Promotion.

If the elephant “unexpectedly” walks through the mayor’s front garden and the local papers “just happen” to be there and write about it, that’s Publicity.

If you get the mayor to see the funny side – as well as the opportunity – and then you laugh together about the unfortunate elephant based madness, in front of all the reporters, photographers, prospective customers and voters, that’s PR.

If those prospective customers then buy tickets for the circus off you, and you answer all their questions and explain how much fun they’ll have if they hook-a-duck or hit the bell with the hammer when they visit the many entertainment booths, and ultimately, they spend lots of money at the circus, that’s Sales.

Here’s the problem though.

A large group of salespeople – whose sole purpose is to sell – think their time could be better spent elsewhere, away from all that boring, unproductive sales stuff.

They think they should be growing the business and driving customers towards them by taking the elephant for a walk or finding a way to make the mayor laugh. (They’re also usually the ones who dream of winning The Apprentice, but that’s another article all together)

Here’s a question to all the sales managers out there;

If it was your job to ensure that a swamp was cleared by the end of the month and everyone who worked for you just decided to do their own thing – created their own interpretation of what you actually meant by “help me clear this swamp” – would that be acceptable?

No – I know it wouldn’t – but I’ve seen it happen with far too many sales targets and business plans.

So, why is it that – once you’ve created that perfect swamp clearing plan and readied yourself for the long hours and focused effort required – the team suddenly decide that it would be a much better idea instead, if they;

  • Planted a few herbaceous borders to make the swamp look a little brighter, or
  • Wrote you a detailed plan about why you should outsource some of the jobs that they thought were beneath them, or
  • Started to find new homes for the recently displaced alligators, or
  • Spent time starting to build a long term relationship with the drainage company, or
  • Just tried to dump their bit of the swamp behind another colleague’s wheel barrow.

At Varda Kreuz, we like to break the job of a sales manager down into four easily understandable sections which come together to create something called the FAME Effect;

  • Focus
  • Accountability
  • Motivation
  • Education

When we talk about FOCUS, we ask the question – WHAT – as in “What jobs need doing?”

And when we talk about ACCOUNTABILITY we ask the question – WHO – as in “Whose job is it?”

I mentioned in an earlier articleAs a sales manager it is not your job to hit the sales target – it’s your job to ensure the target gets hit!

Subtle difference in words – massive difference in results.

When I was a sales director a while back, we were recruiting to expand the field sales team and I asked the Southern Sales Manager what he was looking for in a perfect candidate, to which he answered;

“Someone who makes my job as easy as possible.”

Simple, honest, precise – and spot on.

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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 Sales Management, Varda Kreuz

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