Aug 17, 2016


If you are working several customers (or thousands customers) at once, it’s helpful to rank them in order of urgency. You might have an ‘X list’, ‘Y list’. Or an ‘X, Y and Z list’. You might have ‘long term prospects’ and maybe ‘suspects’. And of course ‘Network’.

‘Xs’ are the people who you are working on right now, and who are most likely to give you business in the next few days or weeks. People who you have pitched to and who have to get back to you. People who you’ll pitch to this week. They will either become customers very soon or they will slip into another prospect category.

‘Y’s are those who you are working on, and for whom you have not yet structured a preposition. May be they will become ‘X’s or maybe they will become ‘Z’s.

Long term prospects and ‘Z’s are similar. The difference to me is that long term prospects may only receive your attention at irregular intervals- they may be people to whom you have pitched and lost or others who have become inactive. ‘Z’s you have not lost yet; they are just lower priority.

Suspects are ideas. May be you have heard of someone who does something in which you could be involved. You need to research the background. They are merely suspicious of a prospect. You are objective is to convert them to one of the other categories.

Network is that category of people who don’t give you business directly but who know people who cn give you business- you might think of them as influencers or referrers. They may be competitors, or former business colleagues. They may be former clients who have moved on or former employees. Whoever they are, they are critically important, and should be treated with the same sense of importance as your business prospectus.

This is how your frequency of contact or consideration of contact should work out:

Frequency of contact or review for contract
1.       X list
Make a customer
2.       Y list
Weekly to monthly
Move to X list
3.       Z list
Move to X or Y list
4.       Long term prospects
Once in Two Months
Move to X, Y or  Z list
5.       Suspects
As it happens
Move to X, Y or Z list
6.       Network
Strategic Skills


The more you know about your prospects; the better will be your opportunities to do business. I am talking about personal information, such as their hobbies, interests, family facts and so on.


Imagine that in tomorrow’s post you receive a letter offering you your absolutely best, most magnificent, ideal, superb, appropriate project, assignment or piece of business. You could not ask anything better!

Who is the letter from?



What is the deal?

What do you have to do to make it happen?

What are the Roadblocks?

You’re Plan of Action?

This exercise can produce some amazing results for you. If you give yourself permission to get the ideal kind of project or piece of business, you can find new opportunities opening up that you may have pooh – poohed as being unachievable. All you have to do is, identifying the goal, establish what you have to do to get there, and do it.

This is one of the most popular exercises and some of the realizations that surface are a delight to behold.

An awful lot of what gets done because somebody said ‘Let’s do it’. You might have seen and experienced that many great people, businessmen, Prime Ministers, Presidents, Journalists, Scientists set the goal of putting big tasks and it was done. Nothing is coming easy without effort, planning and craving desire. So identify the result you want to achieve, ask the magic question ‘What do we have to do to get there?’ and do it.


Who do you know? Have you gone to the trouble of analyzing your contacts lately? Do you go out of your way to meet new people? Haven’t met anyone new lately? Well, what do you do with all those business cards people keep giving you? Would it be worth your while going through them again? I will bet 100 cards, you find ten people to call whom you’d forgotten about. What about your personal telephone directories (saved contact list in your smart phone/iPod/tab) and diaries? Go through them. One of those calls could be very productive.


You will increase your new business by increasing your customer – contact rate. Every contact with a potential customer is an opportunity to obtain an order. Every non – contact is a lost opportunity that can never be recovered. So look at the number of contacts you are making each day, and make one more than you have been. Since it is a number game, you will surely do more business.


Keep on sending relevant mails to your customers on each and every subject you discussed in the sales call. Whenever you receive a phone call from your customer, just send a reply by mail even if you made conversation on telephone/mobile. Such mails to your customer create interest more in your product and can understand better about the quality of the services you offered. You can also attach related files, document, design etc while sending the mails. You will surely make company awareness on customers. The list is all-important. And so is the relevance of the message to the audience. Think off your dearest hobby or past time. Now imagine a really interesting piece of news that was mailed to you cold – would you feel responsive? Probably. It’s that type of impact you should be striving for in any mailing you do. The easier it is for addressees to reply, the better reply rate you will have.


Every industry has its literature – the trade press. If you have been in business, a while, you unquestionably receive some publications free. (Subscribing to industrial news letter by mail) On the principle of you get what you pay for, quite a few people I know never even open these publications, or give them only the most cursory of glances. I am suggesting that, since some people have gone to the trouble to put together publications for you, the least you can do is return the favour and look at it. You may be amazed at the ideas you get.

Better still; read the news magazines, journals of other industries. Like those of your customers. If you sell computer, and you are trying to reach accountants’ magazines, read the accountants magazines. A good business library will have scores of these available for perusal. When you make a sales call on someone who’s in an industry away from your own, ask for some back numbers of his or her industry’s literature that you see lying around the office: ‘I’d like to know more about the business. Have you any back numbers of this magazine I could have? What do you think is the best magazine for your subject?’


Make a point of getting to know the editors of the trade journals in your industry. Then suggest articles for their publications that you could write. If you cannot write, hire a freelance writer to ghost it for you. What you want is your name on the byline of a story relevant to your business, so that you will become associated with the subject as an expert. You will be quoted. And you can use reprints of the article in your own promotion.


Use this to help you manage your prospecting initiatives.

What I am going to concentrate on today? Date
Which clients/prospects will I target?
What action shall I take?
What barriers will I encounter?
What kind of help will I need?

Jul 7, 2016



Focus more on your tone, your voice i.e., your speech is very important in every sales call. This is the basic platform of every sales call, which will enhance your business growth, contacts and relation among the customers. Why our tone is so important? What are the benefits of this?

It is very simple and easy to practice. For instance, if you are planning to meet a new customer or old customer, you will have to practice your call before meeting the customer.

What is your planning?

It is quite difficult but possible to practice, especially for new customer. First of all you will have to find out the details of the customer you are going to meet. It is better to focus more attention on customer’s end product, (Industrial Selling) his proposed business plan or plant extension, type of application, current problem with customer, existing solution(Company/Product) that customer is using, existing issues if any with current supplier, decision makers name and contact details etc. Further you also need to have your solution for the problem, (based on your collection of information) product that you are planning to suggest, and go along with all necessary tools. Moreover it is important to take an appointment with the right person well in advance and confirmation before one day. But remember that, be simple, be specific and always be authentic. Put the customer under the impression that you are the right person for him. If this is done, your most of the issues will be sorted out and you are a winner.

It’s an easy way of perceiving how your relationships stand? If you work in something other than the provision of a commodity, where prize and delivery are all important, I am sure you will agree that doing business is all about building and maintaining relationships. It’s about developing goodwill, equity or involvement for you, your products and your services, among your customers and other contacts.

Whatever you call it what I mean is that intangible value that you own, that people respect when they think of you, your products or your services. It’s the value of your business in patronage, reputation, etc, over and above its tangible assets.

Yes, goodwill is an intangible, and it can become very valuable. Yet it is hard to measure it in financial terms. You can’t go out and buy goodwill. You have to get it the old fashioned way. You have to earn it.

Here is how I illustrate the concept of goodwill in my plant seminar. You have this friend, and you want to buy him an anniversary present. You are in New Delhi, and you see a display of titan watch. The price is right, and the shop manager will even gift wrap it for you. So you take it home in its New Delhi’s carrier bag and think about the gift. You had like one just like it yourself. You take it out. It’s all wrapped up. It would be a shame… so you put it back in the bag. But you still want one.

Next day you are in Bangalore. There is the titan watch, just the way you want it. Even the price is the same. So you buy one for yourself. ‘No, don’t bother to wrap it, it’s for me.’ You take it home in its Bengaluru carrier bag. Now it’s time to take your gift to your friend. You take the gift wrapped titan watch out of the New Delhi bag and put it in the Bengaluru bag. And off you go. Bangalore has more goodwill than New Delhi.

Where is your goodwill? It’s all over the place. You no doubt have an excellent personal goodwill with your family or best friends or best customers. You have less personal goodwill with a prospect you are making call for the first time.

What do you have to do to build up your goodwill?

·         Build awareness for your preposition. List people or groups who should know about you, like users, customers, media – specialists, influencers, recommenders and case histories.
·         Build a plan to carry your message, e.g.: advertising, public relations. Broachers, videos, direct mail, seminars etc.

·         Reinforce awareness and induce trial; provide experience of your offer, demonstrate what it does. Develop ways for people to get to know your preposition, like samples and selling materials. Use relevant activities and be seen as the authority who delivers quality.

·         Identify your key values and make them known- interactive group participation of key player’s leads to understanding and ownership of your objectives and values. Support your preposition in every action and tell your audiences, show you care.

·         Your delivery must be immaculate. You want to obtain a positive reaction to your proposition; make the experience positive and unforgettable. Make sure the preposition is working and exceed expectations. Provide 24-hour telephone number for problems and offer cast- iron guarantees.

·         Ask for the feedback. ‘Were you happy with this?’ provide hotline telephone number. Provide way to get feedback/comments, so as to make them easy to communicate. User questionnaire/ survey (anonymous).

·         Reinforce the positive reactions; follow up with visit/phone call/thank you note. Gather the responses and put together in a report.

·         Don’t even let a negative reaction occur, but if it does, fix it fast. Fix first, worry about responsibilities later and go back and make sure they are satisfied.

·         Build up a file of positive experiences: make this an important task, assign good people. Give it time, resources and keep it up to date. Make sure all top internal people are kept informed.

·         Keep the experience great: make sure all components/people/staff deliver on the promise; stick to your key values and fix problems fast. Feedback to your people and celebrate.

·         Take the positive experiences and let others know: let people know what’s going on, e.g.: newsletters/briefing sessions/personal contact/telephone call, interviews, and stories.
·         Get the people who buy your preposition to act as your ambassadors. Make your best customers your allies.

·         Maintain the relationship t all times: always anticipate needs and deliver evidence of this vigilance on your part.

·         Never let more than 15 days go by without a personal touch with your key contacts and think of ways to keep in touch.



You all know how important it is to start out on the right foot when working with a potential customer.

I am sure you have experienced a situation where you have met someone for the first time and you knew right away you did not like him. Other times you seem like old friends.
If you were to analyze all of the cases in which things went badly, you would almost always find fear on your part or on the part of the potential customer or both.
In many cases, these fears are completely unrecognized.


It is vital to your success that you recognize that fears exist both in you and your customers.
Once you know this, you can face those fears and then overcome them.
By a better understanding of your own fears, you will be able to better recognize fears in others.


1. Fear of inadequacy
2. Fear of inferiority
3. Fear of failure


1. Fear of criticism
2. Fear of disapproval
3. Fear of ridicule
4. Fear of rejection
5. Fear of being used and exploited






As we mentioned before, it is important to understand ourselves before we can understand others.

What motivates us?


It is important to note when filling out the attitude rating chart you marked in order of importance those things you felt strongest about at that moment. Tomorrow you might mark it differently.

People are complex and not all people see things the same way. You may see their needs as one thing and they see it as another.

Be careful when making assumptions; things may not be as they seem or as you perceive them.


1. Attitudes and beliefs
2. Selling skills
3. Conducting sales calls
4. Advancing sales call


What is an attitude?

Your attitude has a lot to say about who you are, what you do and how you do it. Of all the variables in selling, your attitude is the only one you have complete control over.
You become what you think about. Your body will do what your mind tells it to do. If you want to be a winner, then think like a winner.

Are you a volume knob or a loudspeaker? Do you control the attitude of others like a knob or do you react to the attitudes of others like a loud speaker.
Remember attitudes are contagious- ask yourself is yours worth catching.
How do our attitudes affect how we sell?
How do the attitudes of others affect what we do?


Gathering information is extremely important in the successful career of a salesperson. Knowing what to ask and when to ask it are very critical.
What can questions do for you?


Prescription before diagnosis is malpractice.

What is listening?

The most effective questions are not worth anything unless the salesperson really listens to the customers.

You learn nothing about the customer’s needs when you are talking.

People listen with approximately 50% efficiency.

After 48 hours, they remember only 25%.

Buyers were asked to rate the one major weakness in sales people:

Sales people don’t listen.

Talk too much.

Old saying: when I am doing the speaking, I only know what I know. The person doing the listening knows what he knows and what the other person knows.

Customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.


Listen to the thoughts and feels


· Don’t interrupt or rush people.

· Monitor the customer to see if they want to say something.
· Listen for what is not said.
· Organize what you hear (write down key points)
· Keep asking for feedback.
· When people are listened to, they feel good.


Ask the customer to:

· Think
· Evaluate/analyze
· Speculate
· Express feelings

Might ask:

· Suppose (how would you)...
· If you could...
· How do you feel about?


· Brief and clear
· Open-ended 5W’s-H
· Requires thought
· Relevant to the customer’s situation


Open-ended questions invite customers to respond with more than a yes or no answer, but not all open ended questions automatically illicit high quality information.
HIQ’s require the customer to:

1. Think
2. Evaluate/analyze


· How do you feel about that?

· Would you mind telling me how it was you came to feel that way?

· In your judgment, what would you say were the most important things we should watch for?

· What do you feel would be the most important help to you right now?

· I’d be very interested in your opinion about that.

· What kind of experience have you had with that?

· Would you give me the benefit of your experience on a question I have?

· If you had a magic button to push what would you want, etc etc?

· How would you compare X with Y?

· What are the most important difficulties you face in achieving X?

· What does the problem with X cost you in lost opportunities?

· If you could recognize this operation, how would you do it?

· How would you feel about the trend towards X?

· How does top management feel about the problems you have described?

· What time schedule has been projected to solve the situation?

· What additional problems do you foresee in the future?


Write three involvement questions that you might use with your target account. Remember to concentrate on the customer’s needs.


Why is it important to open a sales call well?


In your questioning, you might uncover gaps for which you have no solution. Therefore, it’s important to continue listening and questioning until you uncover a gap that you after further exploration with the customer, maybe able to help close.

Once you have discovered a gap to explore, ask HIQ’s to determine the consequences of the gap on the customer’s organization.

Such questions might include:

· What will go wrong in the organization if this problem is not addressed? For example, “How will cost over-runs on this project affect next year’s budget?”
· What will not be achieved? For example “how will these quality problems affect your reputation in the market?”
· How is the gap presently affecting other segments of the organization? For example “what are the implications of these service problems for other departments?”
· How does this gap individual customer? For example, “How is this quality problem affecting your manufacturing operations?”

CONSEQUENCES (convinced stage)

Creating a sense of urgency

How do you know what consequences to ask about?

1. Cost
2. Quality
3. Productivity
4. Reliability


Many consequence areas can be explored when analyzing needs with customers. It helps to plan questions about consequence areas before beginning a sales call. This planning will allow you to follow customer leads with the assurance that you have questions ready.


By discussing the consequences of the gap, in effect you widen it. Having considered all the consequences related to the gap, the customer realizes that taking action is more important because the gap appears to be larger. The reason for exploring consequences is simple: small gaps generate little interest in taking action. Once you widen the gap, you increase the customer’s sense that it is urgent to take action.

Once you have determined the consequences of the gap, the next step is exploring the payoffs of taking action to close the gap.

You should ask the customer questions about payoffs that result in him or her identifying the benefits of taking action. Questions that might help in identifying payoffs include:

· What it would be like in your organization if these problems were solved?
· How would the organization benefit if you could eliminate these problems?
· One benefit of solving the problem would be “X”. What other benefits do you see?
· How will you know when this problem is solved?
· What could you do differently if this problem did not exist?


Once you have determined a need and explored the consequences and payoffs, your next step is to develop a solution. Customers will be considering options to solve the problem.
Exploring options for solving a problem lets you be an adviser rather than a peddler.

Customers would rather buy a product than be sold a product and helping customers to explore options allows them to be involved in selecting a solution that, meets their needs. The more involved customers are in selecting options, the more willing to buy they will be.

· Ask the customer what has been tried before.

· What have you tried before that hasn’t worked?

· How have you to address this issue in the past?

· List the options and expand (discuss these options with the customer.)


· Buy from your competition.
· Buy from you.
· Do nothing.

Two simple steps:

· Analyze the options you can provide
· Discuss options with the customer:

1. Draw out the customer’s perception of which option is best.
2. Do not confuse the customer with too many choices.
What are the customer objections you are facing every day?

Recommended L-A-C guidelines

1. Listen to the objection.
2. Agree with the customer’s concern.
3. Ask an objection to objective question.
4. Listen to his response.
5. Ask more questions to clarify.
6. Apologize for not giving enough information. Assure him with proof, testimonials.
7. Ask for agreement.
8. Listen.
9. Close or commit. As a closing question.

Selling techniques?

What kind of skills did you notice?

· Listen.
· Ask.
· Assure.
· Acknowledge.
· Apologize.
· Close.
· Commit.
· Objection to objective.


Why is asking for the order so tough?

Closing should be

· Natural
· Confident
· Simple and direct
· Non manipulative

Closing a sale is the natural and logical outcome of an effective presentation.

The key to closing a sale effectively is to be as direct and non manipulative as possible.
Use a direct close - ask for the order.

Be concise.

Close with confidence.