• How do you convince a prospective customer to listen to you?

    Posted on 06/26/2017 in Selling Skills If you have only a few minutes of undivided attention of a prospect or a new decision maker at your existing account, do you know what you will say? All sales professionals should be ready to give a succinct and impactful elevator speech that responds to this important question:  What can you

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  • Techniques for Building Better Customer Relationships

    Posted on 06/08/2017 in Selling Skills What techniques do you use to build good customer relationships? An effective relationship-building technique that is overlooked by many salespeople is what we call expressing commonalities. Expressing commonalities is a wonderful technique because it works to both build and strengthen relationship

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  • Do you consider yourself a success when it comes to the planning and execution of your sales calls?

    Posted on 05/08/2017 in Sales Call Planning Most sales professionals will admit to not dedicating enough time to sales call planning. However, it doesn’t have to take long to plan. Which of the following three critical sales call planning tasks do you still need to work on? Critical Task # 1 in the Planning Stage: Identify your go

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  • Essential Selling Skills Online Training Series - Newly Designed!

    Posted on 04/19/2017 in Online Sales Training Announcing a newly designed Essential Selling Skills online training series. The 12-part Essential Selling Skills series includes almost 6 hours of on-demand sessions, each about 30 minutes in duration. This skill-based, practical approach to sales training includes a comprehensive overvie

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  • How to Lead a Coaching Conversation

    Posted on 04/06/2017 in Sales Coaching One golf lesson will probably mess up your golf game, but a series of lessons with the same coach are likely to get you to the next level.   Salespeople benefit from coaching just like athletes do.  A well-coached salesperson is more likely to improve their sales skills and have increase

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  • Sales Training on a Shoestring Budget

    Posted on 03/01/2017 in Online Sales Training Businesses in 2017 are running leaner than ever and training budgets are certainly feeling the squeeze!  But cost-cutting measures do not have to equate to sales training being eliminated.  Shorter, more customized, and highly focused training events are now the standard.  The n

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  • Are you Managing your Time Wasters?

    Posted on 01/31/2017 in Time Management for Sales The beginning of the year is always a good time to talk about organization and time management. With customer face-to-face time shrinking, sales professionals must take maximum advantage of all customer contact time. Time and territory management is more essential than ever for salespeople. Sales t

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  • ¿Cuántos de sus clientes están tan satisfechos que lo recomendarían a sus propios clientes?

    Posted on 01/31/2017 in Blogs en Espanol ¿Es el proporcionar un servicio excepcional al cliente una alta prioridad en su empresa?¿Está todo el personal que interacciona con sus clientes enfocado y entrenado para superar las expectativas del cliente y desarrollar su lealtad? ¿Tiene para sus empleados un marco de

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  • Ambos lados ganan: El Acercamiento Esperado En Una Negociacion

    Posted on 12/14/2016 in Blogs en Espanol Las tres palabras mágicas en negociaciones exitosas son "Ambos lados ganan". En nuestro proceso de planificación de la negociación, debemos incluir el desarrollo de una lista con posibles resultados alternativos para lograr un acuerdo donde ambas partes pueden sentir y decir qu

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  • How many of your customers are so satisfied that they would recommend you to their own customers?

    Posted on 12/06/2016 in Customer Service & Support Is providing exceptional customer service a top priority at your company?  Do all customer-facing personnel work to exceed customer expectations and build customer loyalty?  Do you have a framework in place to ensure that everyone works to repeatedly satisfy customers to the point of long

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  • Filming and Feedback in Sales

    Posted on 11/20/2016 in Sales Tools Filming was commonplace only 15-20 years ago in sales training workshops, but is now rarely used. Ironically, as technology has improved and cameras and equipment have become less expensive and easier to use, LESS filming has become the norm.      Why not plan your next sales meetin

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  • A Both Sides Gain Approach to Negotiation

    Posted on 11/08/2016 in Sales Negotiation Skills Three magic words in successful negotiations are "Both sides gain." Your negotiation planning process should include making a list of alternative outcomes for an agreement where both parties can say that they have gained. Of course it does not mean that everyone will get everything they want. It

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  • Sales Training cannot replace Sales Management

    Posted on 11/01/2016 in Sales Management Good sales management comes first! And, sales training is not always the best or only solution.  Consider the following frustrations expressed by sales managers we've heard during sales management workshops and coaching sessions: Spending too much time on the wrong accounts: "She calls

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  • Top 3 Questions Asked by New Salespeople

    Posted on 10/20/2016 in Selling Skills Working with new salespeople is inspirational. New sales hires are enthusiastic and have a strong desire to learn new skills that will make them succeed. They know that they have to learn as much as possible, through training and hands-on experience in order to become top performing salespeople.&nbs

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  • Agreeing to Action

    Posted on 10/03/2016 in Online Sales Training When salespeople are assessed on their natural skills and tendencies, newer salespeople typically score on the lower end of the spectrum for what we call the agreeing to action stage of the sales call process.  This is because newer salespeople are reluctant to ask for the sale.  A better

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  • Providing a Solution, not Closing a Sale

    Posted on 09/28/2016 in Online Sales Training Think about your last positive experience and your last bad experience with a salesperson. The bad salesperson probably talked too much, didn’t listen to your needs, and pushed you toward a solution that they thought you should choose. The good salesperson asked questions to learn about y

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  • Relationship Building During a Sales Call

    Posted on 09/13/2016 in Online Sales Training Most salespeople agree that relationship building during a sales call is important but not every salesperson excels at this. Let’s explore two factors that will improve your ability to build relationships as a sales professional: 1)When is the best time during the sales call to do this?, and 2

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  • Matching Your Selling Style to Different Customer Personality Types

    Posted on 09/01/2016 in Online Sales Training How you sell is often just as important, or more important, than what you sell.  The concept of selling styles, or how you sell, is a crucial selling skill and can set you apart from average sellers.  The best sales professionals vary their selling style to fit different ty

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  • Handle Sales Objections by Mastering Questioning Skills

    Posted on 08/10/2016 in Online Sales Training A critical sales skill for all experience levels of sales professionals is questioning skills. Improve your skill at asking great questions and you will see improved relationships with your customers and better sales results will follow. The STAR questioning methodology includes Informational, Oppo

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  • How can you successfully implement price increases?

    Posted on 07/14/2016 in Selling Skills Salespeople vary tremendously in both their confidence and ability to implement price increases. Below are some guidelines to help you prepare and deliver the rationale for a price increase. Pre-Call Planning Guidelines for Price Increases: Make sure you understand the relevant market informatio

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  • Need Sales Training or Coaching in Spanish?

    Posted on 07/01/2016 in Selling Skills STAR welcomes Carlos Madriz to our team of senior sales consultants and trainers.  He is an experienced sales performance consultant and sales training facilitator.  Prior to working as a sales trainer, coach and consultant he worked over 10 years in field sales, sales management, and

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  • Sales Presentations: Do Yours Suffer From Information Overload?

    Posted on 06/30/2016 in Sales Presentation Skills Salespeople tend to make four common mistakes when making a sales presention. Information overload!  Too many slides, too much talking, too lo-o-o-o-ng.  The result is that you lose the customer's attention and interest.  If you don't agree, ask yourself this questio

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  • Focus on 3 Critical Actions Before Every Sales Call

    Posted on 06/20/2016 in Selling Skills Any pre-call planning procedure needs to be realistic. Because sales professionals are so busy, if your planning form or procedure is too long, then no one will use it. Pre Call Planning needs to capture the most critical things that need to be done before every sales call. Avoid these two extremes

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  • Benefits-Based Selling: The Simplest Sales Tip of All Time!

    Posted on 06/01/2016 in Selling Skills Presenting information sounds like the easiest thing for a salesperson to do well, yet many sellers make mistakes such as 1) information overload; and 2) citing features instead of benefits. Follow the guidelines listed below on benefit-based selling when presenting information to your customers: B

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  • One-on-One Coaching for Sales Negotiation

    Posted on 05/18/2016 in Sales Negotiation Skills How can coaching on sales negotiation help you? Negotiation is a critical part of the sales process yet many sales professionals tend to make several common mistakes during a negotiation, in particular when faced with adversarial tactics. Here are two common sales negotiation mistakes: First

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  • How Can Coaching on Essential Selling Skills Help You?

    Posted on 04/27/2016 in Sales Coaching How can coaching on essential selling skills help you? The best sales professionals excel at three things: 1) Planning for a sales call, 2) Using a Sales Call Process as a roadmap during a sales call, and 3) Following up after a sales call. The One-on-One Coaching Package for Selling Essentials will

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  • One-on-One Coaching for Key Account Managers

    Posted on 04/18/2016 in Sales Coaching How can coaching on key account management help you? Managing key accounts requires that you use a strategic approach with your most important customers in order to build deeper and broader relationships that create mutual value and growth. In the One-on-One Coaching for Key Account Management Packa

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  • Customize a One-on-One Sales Coaching Package

    Posted on 04/13/2016 in Sales Coaching Why should you utilize a sales coach? Research demonstrates that when it comes to sales professionals, nothing influences the bottom line results more than a solid coaching program. Because sales professionals naturally are confident, competitive and self-motivated, they tend to be more invested and

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  • The Pinch Factor and Customer Retention

    Posted on 04/07/2016 in Customer Service & Support When working with several clients recently on how to improve customer retention and customer satisfaction levels, a repeat question we heard is: “How do we prevent customers from becoming dissatisfied in the first place?” Here are two related and practical tips that can help you keep cu

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  • Managing Customer Expectations

    Posted on 03/24/2016 in Customer Service & Support Here are three related and practical tips that can help you to deal with customers who are making unrealistic expectations and demands. 1. Gather information from the customer but don’t commit or agree to the unrealistic expectation. For example, you might say something like, “This is s

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  • Spanish Sales Training - Entrenamiento de Ventas en Español

    Posted on 03/04/2016 in Sales Management Spanish Sales Training (Entrenamiento de Ventas en Español): In response to the increasing need for online sales training in Spanish, we now offer our popular Sales Meeting Kit product line in Spanish. Learn more about the kits by watching this video.  Need Sales Training or Coachi

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  • Portuguese Sales Training - Treinamento de Vendas em Português

    Posted on 03/02/2016 in Sales Management Portuguese Sales Training Treinamento de Vendas em Português: In response to the increasing need for online sales training in Portuguese, we now offer our popular Sales Meeting Kit product line in Portuguese. Learn more about the kits by watching this video.  Each kit prov

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  • French Sales Training - Formation de vente Français

    Posted on 03/01/2016 in Sales Management French Sales Training (Formation de vente Français): In response to the increasing need for online sales training in French, we now offer our popular Sales Meeting Kit product line in French. Learn more about the kits by watching this video.  Each kit provides a manager with a

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  • Mentoring and Coaching: Ben Franklin had the Right Idea

    Posted on 02/10/2016 in Sales Coaching "Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." ~ Ben Franklin STAR’s Sales Meeting Kits and eLearning training modules can be used as mentoring and coaching tools. These tools work especially well as developmental opportunities for your top performing and high poten

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  • The Service Recovery Paradox

    Posted on 12/09/2015 in Customer Service & Support In a recent blog on Customer Churn, we touched on the subject of the Service Recovery Paradox. The service recovery paradox is when the customer thinks even higher of a company after they’ve experienced a problem that you’ve fixed for them as compared to how they felt about your company

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  • Do You Know What Your Customer Churn Rate Is?

    Posted on 11/18/2015 in Customer Service & Support Customer churn is the loss of customers. Also known as customer attrition, customer defection, or customer turnover – they all mean the same thing to your bottom line. Companies have always paid great emphasis on customer acquisition, but are more recently realizing that customer retention sh

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  • Is this Sales Opportunity Worth Winning?

    Posted on 10/14/2015 in Selling Skills How often have you found yourself expending far too much time and energy on a prospect or customer when the sales opportunity may not even be worth it? An effective sales strategy requires that each sales person analyze what makes a great customer in a given market. The way to do this is to start o

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  • Coaching vs. Counseling

    Posted on 09/29/2015 in Sales Management Most managers enjoy being a “coach” to their employees, but usually avoid the task of counseling when an employee isn’t performing as expected. There are motivation issues and competency issues to consider when diagnosing or assessing an employee’s performance. You might have

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  • Less Talk and More Dialogue - How to Be More Effective as a Coach in Sales

    Posted on 09/10/2015 in Sales Coaching A popular option in our coaching workshop includes the opportunity to video sales managers conducting a coaching session with one of his/her salespeople.  After viewing themselves the managers almost always feel that the coaching sessions would have been more effective if there had been more di

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  • How to be a Transformational Leader

    Posted on 08/18/2015 in Sales Management How can you as a leader transform your organization to achieve top performance?  The most successful leaders excel at two primary tasks that engage and inspire everyone to make great things happen. Articulate your vision in a compelling way. How can you get everyone to work toward a co

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  • Free Coaching for Sales Success Webinar

    Posted on 05/14/2015 in Sales Coaching Do you know who to coach on your sales team to generate the best results?  Do you know how to coach effectively (do it well and do it quickly!)?  Did you miss our free 25 minute live online training session "Coaching for Sales Success”?   How to avoid the 2 most common coachi

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  • How Skilled is Your Sales Team at Responding to Sales Objections?

    Posted on 04/10/2015 in Sales Management The key difference between successful and average sales professionals is their skill and comfort level when handling objections. Price objections are common, and all salespeople need to be ready to respond. Salespeople need to have the confidence to express in a clear and compelling way why a h

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  • Are Your Salespeople Making Too Many Concessions During Sales Negotiations?

    Posted on 04/01/2015 in Sales Management Exchange, or give and take, is the essence of negotiation. Would you like your salespeople to improve their ability to explore for and exchange currencies that will satisfy the needs of both sides in a negotiation?  This is a topic that sales managers can and should be teaching to their salesp

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  • Haggling Over Price... What Needs to Change?

    Posted on 03/30/2015 in Sales Management When you sell on value, you create a clear and compelling reason for your customer to buy from you versus a competitor.  It is a constant challenge in sales to move the conversation away from haggling over price so you can talk about the value and solutions your product or service will provide

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  • How Do Your Salespeople Rate When it Comes to Asking Great Questions?

    Posted on 03/21/2015 in Sales Management On a scale from 1 to 10, how would you rate the effectiveness of the questioning skills of your salespeople?  A skilled sales professional knows how to ask questions that will identify decision makers and influencers, explore for additional sales opportunities, uncover sales objections, and det

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  • Do Your Salespeople Know How to Make Great Elevator Speeches?

    Posted on 03/08/2015 in Sales Management You only have one chance to make that first impression! The saying is especially true for salespeople. All salespeople should have several great elevator speeches. Sales Managers: Do your salespeople know the four basic guidelines to help make an elevator speech more memorable and effective?  

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  • Sales Managers: Here's How to Teach Pre-Call Planning to Your Salespeople

    Posted on 02/20/2015 in Sales Management Every sales call made should be purposeful!  You've heard the question asked in blogs here before - Are your sales people acting as sales professionals or as well-paid tourists?   This is a topic that sales managers can and should be addressing by leading skill-building sessions at sa

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  • The Customer is Always First

    Posted on 01/27/2015 in Customer Service & Support "The Customer is Always First.” This mantra was spotted recently on one of our client’s training room posters. The poster highlighted the Guiding Principles of Sales and Service for this particular company, one of which stood out:  "The customer is always first."  There was a

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  • Leveraging Influence to Be an Effective Leader

    Posted on 01/26/2015 in Influence Skills Improving your ability to effectively influence others helps you become more effective as a leader, entrepreneur, or sales professional.  Learning to leverage influence while building positive relationships is powerful!  Learn more about the workshop in this hour long pre-recorded L

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  • A Roadmap for Coaching Conversations

    Posted on 11/17/2014 in Sales Coaching Could you use a roadmap to help you get started or keep you on track for some of those intimidating coaching conversations?   We don’t believe in scripts, but we do believe in the tremendous importance of following a process when coaching.  The examples below can serve as a model or a roa

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  • Sales Coaching Doesn't Have to Take Long!

    Posted on 11/06/2014 in Sales Coaching We repeatedly hear comments from sales managers such as:    "I know that coaching is important but I don't have enough time to coach."  "Because I have limited coaching time, I only coach my poorer performers."  "How much time should I spend coaching?"  What can poss

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  • Barriers to Effective Communication in Sales…and What to Do About It!

    Posted on 09/24/2014 in Communication Skills You cannot succeed in sales if you don’t communicate clearly and persuasively.   Although technology has improved dramatically, and sales professionals now have access to many different communication tools and devices, there still are many barriers to effective communication in sales.  In

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  • Sales Training Without Sales Management Support Has Limited Value

    Posted on 09/11/2014 in Sales Coaching At a recent meeting with a high-level sales executive at one of our long term clients, he asked me this question:  "What is the most important thing that you’ve learned about sales training?” I replied that, based on over 23 years as a sales training consultant, the single most important

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  • The Four Characteristics Needed to Excel at Sales Prospecting

    Posted on 09/04/2014 in Prospecting and Business Development What are the secrets to success for prospecting?  How can a salesperson generate a consistent amount of sales growth and win new accounts?    If you want to excel at sales prospecting, you need four things. 1. Knowledge: You need to know as much as possible abou

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  • Coaching should be a Continuous Cycle, Not a Once-a-Year Event

    Posted on 08/21/2014 in Sales Coaching Do you know what the two most common mistakes Sales Managers make with regard to coaching their salespeople?     The first mistake is they throw their hands in the air and claim they are simply too busy to coach. Often a sales manager is also playing the role of the super seller, rather

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  • The Best Coaches Excel at the 4 E's

    Posted on 08/14/2014 in Sales Coaching Sales Coaching is the process of working with a sales professional to reinforce or change selling behavior in order to improve sales results. As a coach, your job is to create and foster an environment for improvement. You accomplish this by asking questions, listening, offering encouragement,

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  • Negotiation Tactics: How Do You Respond to the Good Guy/Bad Guy Routine?

    Posted on 08/05/2014 in Sales Negotiation Skills We don’t ever recommend using adversarial tactics during negotiations.  But we do advise that salespeople need to become aware of the various adversarial tactics so they can become skilled at appropriately responding.  The goal when negotiating with someone acting in an adversar

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  • Why Do People Act in an Adversarial Manner when Negotiating?

    Posted on 07/28/2014 in Sales Negotiation Skills When negotiating, salespeople often encounter what we call adversarial tactics.  The term adversarial is defined as hostile, involving or characterized by conflict or opposition.  So, why do people act in an adversarial manner when negotiating?  Usually during a negotiation one side m

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  • Negotiation Tactics: Behavior Speaks Louder Than Words

    Posted on 07/09/2014 in Sales Negotiation Skills Tactics are behaviors – actions used by the negotiator to serve a purpose or to pursue an objective. Tactics can be verbal and/or nonverbal.  One of the first things that negotiators or anyone skilled in communication learns is that every piece of behavior communicates.  Whether we w

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  • Salespeople should be Consultative Problem Solvers, not Closers

    Posted on 07/01/2014 in Selling Skills Newer salespeople are often uncomfortable with the idea of appearing too pushy.  This natural inclination is a good one. Salespeople should strive to become consultative problem solvers, not pushy closers. Think about your last good and bad experiences with a salesperson.  The bad salesper

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  • Influencing People, Not Customers

    Posted on 06/17/2014 in Influence Skills I was asked recently to speak at a national sales meeting. Prior to the meeting, the VP of Sales and I discussed topics to determine an appropriate message for the sales team.  We mutually agreed that the best salespeople don’t think of themselves as "selling products” or "selling services.” &n

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  • Do You Know What Motivates Your Salespeople?

    Posted on 06/11/2014 in Sales Management A key component of every sales manager’s job description is to coach, motivate, and provide the support and information needed to ensure their salespeople can meet and exceed their sales objectives.   Sales Managers should be regularly revisiting two important questions about each member

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  • Do you find Yourself Haggling over Price too Often?

    Posted on 06/04/2014 in Value Selling Skills Haggling over price is not what any sales professional should be doing.  Unfortunately, when tight budgets dominate, the conversation circles back to pricing much too frequently. Move away from haggling over price, to explain instead the value that you, your company, and your product or s

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  • Sales Meetings with Substance

    Posted on 06/01/2014 in Sales Management Are your sales meetings all about numbers?  Are they lacking in substance?   If you are like many sales managers we hear from what you really want is to add something that will help improve the bottom line and motivate every sales person in the room, right? Sales managers are challenged t

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  • Coaching is Crucial

    Posted on 05/22/2014 in Sales Coaching Effective sales management has an impact on sales results.  Sales managers play a crucial role in the sales effectiveness of each member of the sales team and must excel at coaching. We highly recommend that managers get in the habit of using some of their regularly scheduled sales meeting time

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  • Do you have a Well-Prepared Elevator Speech?

    Posted on 05/19/2014 in Prospecting and Business Development An elevator speech will sharpen your ability to claim and communicate value in initial conversations with customers. There is truth in the saying that you only have one chance to make a first impression.  These four guidelines will help make your elevator speech memorable and effective:

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  • How to Improve your next Sales Meeting

    Posted on 04/23/2014 in Sales Management After hearing many sales managers say how challenging it is to find the time to plan and lead skill-building sales meetings, we launched a series of Sales Meeting Kits.  STAR Sales Meeting Kits provide sales managers with everything needed to run focused, skills-building sessions at upcomin

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  • Hear, See and Discuss: Are your Sales Presentations High Impact?

    Posted on 04/22/2014 in Sales Presentation Skills You can improve the impact of your sales presentations if you design your presentation to maximize the retention level of the audience.  One of my favorite communication studies measured retention rates for three types of presentations:  Presentation Type  Lab

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  • How Much Do You Use Influence Skills in Sales?

    Posted on 04/09/2014 in Influence Skills Influence skills are a core competency for salespeople, customer service personnel, and managers, yet many people never consciously think about sharpening their ability to influence customers, colleagues, and others.   Consider the key accounts that your company must protect and grow. &nb

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  • Do you recognize when NOT to communicate using email and social media?

    Posted on 04/01/2014 in Communication Skills The way people buy has changed so much over the past decade, that it stands to reason that the way people sell should be changing as well, right?  Buyers are more educated, informed, and sophisticated, so the methods of communication used by sales professionals have to reflect this. 

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  • Are you a Sales Professional or a Well-Paid Tourist?

    Posted on 03/20/2014 in Sales Call Planning As a former sales professional and sales manager, I saw firsthand for myself and my sales team how important it is to do pre-call planning well.   There are three critical tasks that should be done before every sales call – we call these tasks the What, the Who, and the How, for short. &n

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  • Do you Know Your Customer's Customers? Do You Know Your Customer's Competitors?

    Posted on 03/05/2014 in Selling Skills Imagine the value you can provide to your existing and prospective customers if you know the answers to these questions: •Who are your customer’s major customers? •Who are their main competitors? Average sellers don’t ask these types of questions.  Set yourself apart and prob

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  • Looking for a New Sales Meeting Activity? Try This Customer Zone Activity

    Posted on 02/12/2014 in Customer Service & Support At your next sales meeting, try taking a customer service poll.  Ask your sales and service professionals to make a list of ten current customers. Then ask them to categorize those customers into three zones: Service Recovery Service Expectations Service Surprises A customer in the

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  • Transition from a Service to a Sales Culture

    Posted on 02/05/2014 in Selling Skills Are you currently working on transitioning from a service to a sales culture?  Although any industry can struggle with this challenge, we tend to hear more from banks, credit unions and other financial institution on this topic.   When transitioning from a service culture to a selling c

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  • 3 Ways to Improve Your Selling Skills

    Posted on 01/21/2014 in Selling Skills Sales training works well but is not necessarily the only solution, or the best solution, for all sales professionals.  Here are three other ways that you can improve your selling skills.   1.      Find a great coach or two.  When I first st

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  • Goal Setting: Do You Know Why Your Sales Goals Often Fall Short?

    Posted on 12/18/2013 in Time Management for Sales Leveraging Lessons Learned When Setting New Sales Goals  As we approach the end of the business year it is a great time to evaluate sales results and set new goals for the coming year. Of course, this process can and should also take place throughout the year, for example on a quarterly or mon

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  • Top 5 Sales Mistakes that Cause You to Lose the Sale

    Posted on 12/11/2013 in Selling Skills If you had to list the top 5 sales mistakes you have made what would be on your list?   As sales professionals and sales managers, most of us can easily rattle off a list of the critical skills and sales competencies that help us to win business for our company.  But are we clear on

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  • When is the last time you prepared for an important telephone sales conversation?

    Posted on 12/03/2013 in Selling Skills In the past year alone we’ve seen about a twofold increase in the number of one-on-one telephone coaching assignments we’ve done for our clients.  In an effort to make the coaching with sales professionals and sales managers as practical and skill-based as possible, we  discovered how valu

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  • Coaching and Mentoring Your Top Sales Performers

    Posted on 11/12/2013 in Sales Coaching We’ve had the opportunity to work recently with top sales performers from a couple different STAR clients. It reaffirmed the concept that most top sales achievers utilize someone as their mentor.  After all, top sales performers are no different than top performers in other fields, such as w

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  • Less Talk, More Dialogue - How to be More Effective as a Sales Coach

    Posted on 11/04/2013 in Sales Coaching We’ve recently finished some coaching workshops that included the opportunity to film each sales manager conducting a coaching session with one of his/her salespeople.  When asked to self-critique these filmed role plays, each manager said one area for improvement as a coach would have been

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  • How to Plan and Prepare Your Next Sales Meeting

    Posted on 10/28/2013 in Sales Management Are Your Quarterly Sales Meetings a Snore? Does your typical quarterly sales meeting agenda look something like this: 1. New product updates, company news, etc. 2. Last Quarter Sales Results – Highlights, Lowlights 3. Next Quarter Goals – Targets, Expected Challenges …. Social

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  • Key Account Management Quiz

    Posted on 09/25/2013 in Key Account Management We’ve been talking a lot about key account management lately. It is undoubtedly the most significant change in the way companies sell in recent years and is critical to the success of most corporations.  As a relatively young way of doing business, key account management is cer

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  • Are you Proficient at Selling Value in Both Tangible and Intangible Terms?

    Posted on 09/17/2013 in Value Selling Skills Many top sales executives believe that few of their salespeople sell well on value.  Does this surprise you?   It doesn’t surprise me because I see firsthand that many salespeople we work with find it very difficult to effectively utilize value selling with their customers. In partic

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  • How Valuable are Cold Calls?

    Posted on 09/12/2013 in Selling Skills Like many of you, I’ve explored numerous social media sites and found some useful sales resources.  One of the better discussion groups that I’ve found is through a LinkedIn network of sales professionals, sales managers, and sales training providers.  One topic in our discussion group see

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  • A Basic Sales Quiz - How Do You Rate?

    Posted on 08/20/2013 in Selling Skills Mastering the basics of the essential stages of selling will allow for competence and success throughout the stages of the selling cycle. It doesn’t really matter what you are selling because nearly every sale follows this sales process. Answer a few important questions to assess your skill an

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  • Online Capabilities Enhance the Flexibility of Sales Training Services

    Posted on 08/08/2013 in Online Sales Training Salespeople by the nature of their job need to be in the field selling. Of course they need the tools to sell, but time away from the territory is opportunity for the competition.  Online solutions for both training and coaching fits like a glove for salespeople.  There are many advantages

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  • Does Customer Satisfaction Guarantee Referrals?

    Posted on 07/31/2013 in Prospecting and Business Development So, you are confident that you've provided a great product with great service and have built a positive relationship with your customers.  Does this customer satisfaction guarantee that they will refer business to you?  No!  It certainly builds the foundation but you have to ASK for r

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  • Are All Hands on Deck Ready to Deliver Your Sustainable Competitive Advantage?

    Posted on 07/24/2013 in Selling Skills All salespeople agree that "differentiation” is crucial.  Otherwise, you haven’t provided the customer with a compelling reason to select you. In STAR’s Key Account Management and Sales Negotiation Skills workshops, we’ve observed that many salespeople and managers don’t fully utilize dif

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  • Are You Making this Common Key Account Management Mistake?

    Posted on 07/11/2013 in Key Account Management Key Account Management seems to be the buzz word in sales today. It is, in fact, a relatively young discipline, yet there are thousands of employees wearing the title "Key Account Manager.”   Of course you know that key account management is more than just a title or a sales technique.&

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  • How Intelligent Are Your Sales Questions?

    Posted on 07/01/2013 in Selling Skills Advancing the sale during a meeting with a prospective client can’t really happen without some intelligent and well-planned questions to help you learn about your customer.  The best salespeople distinguish themselves through both the quantity and quality of their questions. Quite simply, they

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  • How Can You Gain Access to Higher Level Decision-Makers?

    Posted on 06/01/2013 in Sales Management One of the most popular topics in our Key Account Management and Selling On Value workshops is how to gain access to higher-level decision makers. This is a critical skill for sales professionals, especially when you need to build relationships with multiple decision makers and i

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  • Not All Prospects Are Created Equal

    Posted on 05/15/2013 in Prospecting and Business Development "...there are two great myths that destroy margins - all customers are created equal and all customers should be treated the same."                            

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  • Reaching Better Agreements During Contract Negotiations

    Posted on 05/01/2013 in Sales Negotiation Skills Negotiation training has never lost its importance and relevance.  STAR’s Negotiation Skills Workshop is one of our oldest and most popular workshops. Because negotiation skills are so crucial in today’s turbulent business climate, we will address some special considerations that occ

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  • Communicating More Effectively with Customers and Colleagues

    Posted on 04/15/2013 in Communication Skills "To listen well is as powerful a means of communication and influence as to talk well."- John Marshall, Supreme Court Chief Justice, 1801-1835  The Best Salespeople are Good Communicators Practically speaking, communication skills can be seen as the foundation for all of t

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  • Back to Basics: Why Pre-Call Sales Planning is Crucial

    Posted on 03/15/2013 in Sales Call Planning Why is Pre-Call Sales Planning So Crucial? What can be more fundamental and important than pre-call sales planning? A wasted sales call is a lost opportunity.  What Elements Should Be Considered in Pre-Call Sales Planning? The pre-call sales planning process doesn’t have to take long, nor do

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  • Stop Closing the Sale, Start Building a Relationship

    Posted on 03/01/2013 in Selling Skills All the talk about "closing the sale" has gone away. Instead the talk is on building the relationship, asking better questions and offering value that sells itself.     The challenge (not secret) lies in having the perseverance or following through to use a system of methods that wor

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  • Leading with Influence

    Posted on 02/15/2013 in Influence Skills Leading with Influence Everyone has a natural style of influence.  Truly effective influence doesn't just happen!   So how do you get people to buy into your ideas?  Being able to accurately read situations, individuals and groups, and applying the appropriate type of influence

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  • Writing a Winning Request for Proposal

    Posted on 06/04/2010 in Sales Management What Are the Three Most Critical Success Factors When Writing RFPs?  Consider how much time and effort you and your sales team spend preparing RFPs (Requests For Proposals). What if you could do this faster and improve your success rate? I think that three of the most important success

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  • Writing RFPs That Will Win More Sales (part 2)

    Posted on 06/01/2010 in Sales Management "Win the ones worth winning.” - John Czepiel Our new workshop titled Writing a Winning RFP teaches the skills and concepts on how to write a customized Request For Proposal (RFP) that will increase your likelihood of winning more business.  The workshop highlights critical succe

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  • Writing RFPs That Will Win More Sales - Announcing a New STAR Workshop

    Posted on 04/01/2010 in Sales Management "Use the RFP process to create your own edge over the incumbent.” -Wayne Thomas,The Sales Manager's Success Manual, 2008   Sales Training And Results, Inc. (STAR) is excited to announce a new workshop titled Writing a Winning RFP.  This workshop teaches the skills and conce

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  • Asking for Referrals

    Posted on 10/13/2009 in Prospecting and Business Development Asking for a referral works best if you specify the type of person that you hope to be referred to, AND you match your request to fit the person you are asking. Below are three examples:  If I'm speaking to a Sales Manager at a large company: "Can you think of 2 or 3 other sales managers

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  • How to Build Customer Loyalty and Reduce Customer Churn

    Posted on 08/01/2009 in Sales Management The single most important thing to remember about any enterprise is that there are no results inside its walls. The result of a business is a satisfied customer." - Peter Drucker  Last month’s newsletter touched on the direct link between employee loyalty and customer loyalty, and provided sug

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  • The Link Between Loyalty and Profitability

    Posted on 07/01/2009 in Sales Management "Employee loyalty is linked to customer loyalty and retention, which leads to greater profitability” –Frederick Reichheld, The Loyalty Effect Customer Loyalty and Profitability You probably aren’t surprised to read that companies with superior levels of customer loyalty and retention have

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  • Are you Taking Maximum Advantage of Your Customer Contact Time?

    Posted on 05/01/2009 in Time Management for Sales "Time is the scarcest resource.  If it is not managed, nothing else can be managed" - Peter Drucker Which Salesperson Do You Resemble? Compare two different salespeople and decide who you or your salespeople resemble the most: Seller #1 makes time to plan for each face-to-face

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  • Four Critical Tasks for Sales Managers

    Posted on 01/01/2009 in Sales Coaching "You can't lead anyone else further than you have gone yourself." - Gene Mauch Four Critical Tasks for Sales Managers  Sellers need to spend time on prospecting for new business.  Sales managers need to set clear expectations with each seller about the need to do more prospe

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  • Key Account Strategy: Four Factors that Determine Success

    Posted on 11/01/2008 in Key Account Management "In business or football, it takes a lot of unspectacular preparing to produce spectacular results." - Roger Staubach, Hall of Fame Football Player Success factor #1: Have you identified and built a relationship with the highest-level decision maker? You cannot win a big sale at a key acc

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  • Best Books for Sales Professionals

    Posted on 10/27/2008 in Sales Management A recent issue of Fortune magazine focused on the "…deepest secrets of great selling” and had several valuable articles, one of which was featured on our most recent sales training blog. Another article in that same issue titled "Shelf Help" listed 8 books that Fortune feels should be in

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  • Should a Sales Team be a Part of Your Sales Strategy?

    Posted on 10/01/2008 in Key Account Management  "None of us is as smart as all of us.” - Ken Blanchard, author of One Minute Manager Many sales organizations have found that a sales team is an integral part of a sales strategy. For example, consider how a sales team could help you: Multiple team members can be used to br

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  • The International Language of Selling - Characteristics of Top Sales Performers

    Posted on 08/28/2008 in Selling Skills How Do You Describe a Top Sales Performer? I’ve made some recent business trips to Canada and Ireland, and found it fascinating to hear sales managers and sales professionals from those countries describe their best sales performers. Interestingly, the comments did not differ significantly from wha

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  • Selling on Value - The Three Principles of Value Selling

    Posted on 06/21/2008 in Value Selling Skills The Difference Between Price And Value If you are a professional salesperson today, you know the difference between price and value. The challenge is to SELL THE VALUE to the customer. If you can't do this and your sales strategy is based only on "sell low" or "sell on price," you will set yourself

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  • Key Questions to Consider when Implementing Team Selling

    Posted on 06/20/2008 in Team Selling Key account management often includes team selling. How do you decide if team selling is appropriate for a key account? If the answer is "yes" to any of the three factors listed below, then you should consider using team selling with your key accounts. Factor #1: Your competitor is using "team sell

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  • Selling Styles for Successful Salespeople

    Posted on 06/20/2008 in Selling Skills Selling Styles  - Varying Your Selling Style What Do You Think? A good salesperson asks questions and listens to the customer. Most people would agree, but does that mean that you will succeed with all customers if all you do is ask questions and listen? A good salesperson knows how to "ask

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  • Prospecting & The Power of One: The High Performing Salesperson

    Posted on 06/20/2008 in Prospecting and Business Development In today’s business environment, most organizations now have to deal with factors such as market maturity, customer consolidation and increasing global competition.   These industry challenges make prospecting for new business even more difficult then ever, and all the more necessary

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  • Cross-Cultural Influence and Negotiation

    Posted on 06/01/2008 in Sales Negotiation Skills Since most of the readers of this newsletter are located in the United States, many of the examples in this newsletter discuss some business challenges between Americans and other countries and cultures. However, the general principles in this newsletter apply to all situations where two or more cul

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  • How Do You Respond to Conflict and Resistance?

    Posted on 05/01/2008 in Handling Objections One of the most popular topics in our Influence and Sales Workshops is the subject of resistance and conflict. When you need to influence someone, whether it is a colleague or a customer, learning how to handle resistance is a key skill. This month’s newsletter will address the most common reas

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  • Customer Service and the Carpenter

    Posted on 01/01/2008 in Customer Service & Support "Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends."  -Walt Disney This month’s newsletter continues the series on providing exceptional customer service and support.  I often conclude the teaching of our "Exceptional Customer Service” worksho

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  • How Satisfied Are Your Customers?

    Posted on 12/01/2007 in Customer Service & Support "Your customers are only satisfied because their expectations are so low and because no one else is doing better."  -Ken Blanchard (from Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service) So why is customer service so important? Because outstanding customer service bu

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  • The Wow Customer Service Factor

    Posted on 11/01/2007 in Customer Service & Support "Just having satisfied customers isn't good enough anymore.  If you really want a booming business, you have to go beyond satisfied customers and create  raving fans.”  -Ken Blanchard (Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service) Outstanding customer service bu

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  • Selling Has Become a Team Sport

    Posted on 10/01/2007 in Team Selling Teamwork is the quintessential contradiction in a society geared toward individual achievement." -- Marv Weisbord Willy Loman is dead. Gone are the days when a shoeshine and a smile were all that a successful salesperson needed. The nature of a sale has become increasingly complicated

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  • Handling Objections: "Your Price is too High"

    Posted on 07/01/2007 in Handling Objections The Best Sales Professionals Respond Skillfully to Objections What are the most common sales objections?  How can you improve your ability to respond to these objections? All salespeople encounter objections, but the best salespeople are more creative and confident in their ability to respond

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  • Handling Objections: "I'm happy with my Current Provider"

    Posted on 05/01/2007 in Handling Objections "The obstacles you face are mental barriers which can be broken by adopting a more positive approach." -Charles Blasier The Best Sales Professionals Respond Skillfully to Objections What are the most common sales objections?  How can you improve your ability to respond to these objection

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  • Measuring the Effects of Your Up-Selling and Cross-Selling Efforts

    Posted on 04/01/2007 in Selling Skills "Customers who buy two or more products or services  from you are much more likely to remain customers."                                    -Carol Kinsey Gorman Up-Selling and Cross-Selling We are s

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  • The Benefits of Up-selling and Cross-Selling

    Posted on 03/01/2007 in Selling Skills "Customers who buy two or more products or services from you are much more likely to remain customers." - Carol Kinsey Gorman, Ph.D., author of The Loyalty Factor, Building Trust in Today's Workplace Many STAR clients and prospects have expressed strong interest in improving the ability

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  • Negotiation Currencies of Exchange

    Posted on 12/01/2006 in Sales Negotiation Skills Successful negotiators differentiate themselves from average negotiators in several ways, starting with how they plan and prepare for a negotiation.  This newsletter is the third in a three-part series on the planning process followed by the most successful negotiators.   &n

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  • Negotiation Settlement Range Planning

    Posted on 11/01/2006 in Sales Negotiation Skills Successful negotiators differentiate themselves from average negotiators in several ways, starting with how they plan and prepare for a negotiation.  This newsletter is the second in a three-part series on the planning process followed by the most successful negotiators. Negotiation Planning P

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  • What Differentiates Successful Negotiators from Average Negotiators?

    Posted on 10/01/2006 in Sales Negotiation Skills Setting a goal is not the main thing.  It is deciding how you will go about achieving it and staying with that plan.” - Coach Tom Landry Successful negotiators differentiate themselves from average negotiators in several ways, starting with how they plan and prepare for a negotiation.&nb

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  • Building Successful Teams

    Posted on 09/01/2006 in Team Selling "The way a team plays as a whole determines its success.  You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.” - Babe Ruth Businesses today rely more and more on projects and tasks managed by teams, including t

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  • Coaching Tips

    Posted on 06/01/2006 in Sales Coaching Tips for Coaching Your Salespeople and Employees "A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." -John C. Maxwell   So why don't salespeople, and in general, employees do what you expect? There are three main reasons why employees don't do wh

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  • The Ideal Sales Candidate

    Posted on 05/01/2006 in Sales Management The Ideal Sales Candidate Interviewing Tips for Managers - Hiring Top Sales Performers On average, a sales manager hires two sales candidates each year. Yet, the hiring and selection process may be your most important decision for the entire year.   So how do you ensure that yo

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  • Vary Your Selling Style to Fit Different Customers and Situations

    Posted on 03/01/2006 in Selling Skills Vary Your Selling Style to Fit Different Customers and Situations  Identifying your customer's natural style and appropriately adjusting your own selling style in response is the key to building long-term customer relationships.  Average salespeople simply rely on their "natural" sel

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  • The Three Most Common Mistakes Made in Sales Negotiations

    Posted on 02/01/2006 in Sales Negotiation Skills The Three Most Common Mistakes Made in Sales Negotiations Conceding too much too soon Underestimating your power Responding poorly to adversarial tactics Average negotiators make these same mistakes repeatedly.  Successful negotiators are successful, in part because they have learned to

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