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Tips and Tricks for Virtual Sales Pitches

While the concept of a virtual sales pitch is hardly a new one, the fact of the matter is, they are proving to be more important and necessary in 2020 than ever before. According to The Pew Research Center,  only about 5% of people in sales had access to telecommuting as recently as 2019. This means that 95% of people in sales are trying to do virtual sales for the first time.

With such an unprecedented number of people suddenly trying to master a completely new (to them) format of sales pitch, there is no exact formula to follow for success. Each business or product is unique, as are salespeople’s relationships with their clients.

There are, however, some general tips and tricks, to guide how you build and deliver your virtual sales pitch, which are helpful to just about anybody jumping into this kind of workstream for the first time.

Do Your Research

Virtual sales pitches can require more preparation than other kinds of pitches, so it’s especially important to do the requisite research. Aside from your own product’s research, this also includes research on the client you’ll be pitching to. Who have they worked with in the past? What is the culture of their business like? Knowing the answers to these questions before logging on can save you a lot of guesswork once you’re on camera.

Also, make sure to research and familiarize yourself with whatever software you’ll be using to make the pitch. Some programs have steeper learning curves than others, and it’s best not to ever have to do damage control live, if possible.

Keep Your Presentation Simple

One of the easiest ways to simplify your presentation is to use as little text as possible. Keep your slides concise and to the point, avoiding any paragraph length passages for your potential clients to squint at on their laptops. Remember, many of them are working from home, too, and don’t have the benefit of conference table sized monitors.

Humanize Your Approach, through Discourse

By creating space in your presentation for dialogue with your clients and actually listening to their needs, hopes, fears, and desires, you’ll be in a better position to build a relationship with them and provide them with the services they need.

In fact, according to Mark Roberge of Harvard, empathy is the most important aspect of sales. He explains in his Harvard Business Review classes that, when you use empathy to ask the right questions, “a sequence of open-ended questions that [help to] develop that buyer perspective—their needs, their challenges, the timing around [the deal], their buying authority—become best practices.”

Ask questions throughout your presentation, engage with your potential clients, and make sure to read the room.

Practice Makes Perfect

Be sure to practice your presentation, exactly as you’ll be doing for your clients, until you feel truly comfortable with the pacing and the technology. Recording yourself doing this is additionally helpful, as it is easier to make self-corrections from watching playback from a practice video than it is to do in real time.

Plan on Technical Difficulties

One of the biggest things that can confound a virtual presentation are application notifications going off in the background. Turning email, messaging, and all other app notifications OFF can spare you a lot of distracting noises during your time in front of the camera.

No matter how familiar you are with the platform you’re using to deliver your presentation, there’s liable to be some technology glitch that you didn’t plan for.  It happens. Wireless can get spotty, as can internet service, more generally, and without warning. Try to troubleshoot as much as possible beforehand, so that you can avoid any of the foreseeable ones.

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Want to Improve Your Sales in 2020? Try These Four Tips

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Every entrepreneur knows that increasing sales is the key to unlocking higher profits; it’s simply a fact of business that almost doesn’t need stating. However, sometimes we get so caught up in the end goal – whether it’s increased profits, wider reach, or something else – that we forget to work smarter so that reaching the goal is a natural extension of our carefully planned efforts.

Taking a step back to consider new strategies so that you and your team can approach your sales goals in an organized way can help ensure your success.

Sales Strategies That Work

Search the web for “proven sales strategies” and you’ll undoubtedly find hundreds – not all of them relevant to your market, industry, or business. However, the following sales strategies are effective across a number of sectors and allow for accommodations unique to your business.

1. Start with a Goal in Mind

You may have heard of SMART goals by now—those that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-oriented. Go into 2020 with a specific, measurable goal in mind. Don’t simply aim to increase sales. Instead, for example, aim to increase your sales by a certain percentage point. Then, set a time frame within which you’d like to achieve it. A great tactic is to set several short-term goals, perhaps by quarter, as well as an achievable long-term goal for the fiscal year so that you can measure your progress along the way.

2. Research Your Sales Leads

You’ve undoubtedly spent a great deal of time researching your target market, the specific subset of the population most likely to purchase your product or service. It’s equally as important to perform research on each lead you pursue before making contact. Ask yourself:

  • What are their business or personal goals?
  • What potential obstacles have they been trying to overcome?
  • If they’re working with a competitor, how can you improve upon that experience?

3. Talk Benefits Before Features

Once you’ve identified your potential client’s needs, it’s important to discuss how your product or service will meet those needs and provide a benefit to be gained.

It can be tempting to list all of the wonderful features and details of your product, but a discussion of how the sum of these can benefit your client provides a much better description of why they should buy. Then, a list of features can help you seal the deal.

4. Follow Up, Every Time

After making initial contact, don’t be discouraged when a potential client doesn’t purchase right away. In fact, it often takes repeated contact to close a sale; only two percent of sales occur at first contact, and over 80% of non-routine sales take at least five follow-ups before the final deal.

The lesson? Don’t give up after initial contact, second contact, third, fourth or fifth, and consider devising a solid email follow-up campaign that can help you keep account of your leads.

Strategizing to increase your sales can help you identify roadblocks before you encounter them and provide a cohesive approach to meeting your goals. Sales strategies are as numerous as the clients you’re trying to reach with them, so it’s crucial to choose a fleet of techniques that work for your business. The four listed here can help you build a foundation that will help you develop an effective set of strategies to meet your 2020 sales goals.

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Most Common Sales Mistakes – And How to Avoid Them

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It’s no secret that sales is a competitive industry with little room for error. One in eight full time positions in the United States are full time sales jobs, yet representatives must continually refine their techniques to stay on the top of the game. To improve your sales performance, avoid these common pitfalls – and try more successful alternatives instead.

Mistake 1: You Talk Too Much (Or Too Little)

According to a recent study from Saleshacker, there is a happy medium when it comes to talking to a client. By medium, we actually mean “a medium amount.” The top performing sales reps talked 46% of the time or less, while they listened 54% of the time. More middle range performers tended to talk more, closer to 70% of the time. Bottom performers, on the other hand, tended to only talk 28% of the time.

In other words, know what to talk about, but also know when to listen. Understanding a client’s needs creates a more organic dialogue that helps you address their pain points.

Mistake 2: You Use The Wrong Language

Using salesy jargon can tank your efforts and make your interaction with a customer appear less genuine. Using the word “discount” can lower your chance of a sale by over 15%. Using terms like “perfect” or “absolutely” excessively (over four times) can decrease your chances by 16%. Other words to sidestep, according to a recent analysis, include:

  • Billion
  • However
  • Competitor
  • Roadmap
  • Payment
  • Free trial
  • Contract
  • For example

The problem with words like these is they make you sound like you’re rehearsing a pitch. Don’t try for a hard sell; always make your sales interactions flow like natural conversations.

Mistake 3: You Don’t Pay Attention To Detail

Are you the type to “wing it” on presentations and pitches? If so, you’re missing out on big potential opportunities. Paying attention to the smallest of details, like editing emails for grammar and clarity, all work to establish credibility with your clientele.

It’s also important to pay attention to details within interactions with the client. Verbal and non-verbal cues may hint at you to change course or find another way to address your customers’ pain points. Showing that you understand both the product and the customer is an important step in conveying a high level of competence. If you cut corners, you risk your professional reputation – and a prospect may find what they’re looking for elsewhere.

Mistake 4: You Don’t Work Hard Enough to Connect

When people make a switch from your product or service to a competitor, it’s generally because they think someone else is more capable of paying better attention. Always assume that there are others keeping in contact trying to elicit business. When all it takes to keep a customer is to make a little effort to connect and make them feel valued, there’s little excuse to become complacent and let them go.

Connection can be as simple as an email or a phone call to check in, see how the client is liking your product or service, and thanking them for their business. It’s truly all it takes to make a client happy – and is well worth the investment.

If you’re looking to improve your sales, avoiding these common mistakes is a good place to start. By using your client interaction time wisely and maintaining a commitment to current clients, you can maintain the edge in your office and keep your customers and prospects interested.

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4 Steps to Becoming a Better Salesperson

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The old sales strategies no longer work. Individuals react negatively to high-pressure tactics and throw direct mail in the trash. They are so inundated with ads they almost don’t see them. Sales has always been a challenging profession, and it’s even more so today. Here are some tips for starting conversations, building relationships, and becoming more efficient at what you do.

1. Ask Questions

One thing that hasn’t changed is people’s desire to talk about themselves. Successful salespeople are naturally curious. They genuinely want to discover what matters to their clients. Instead of launching into a list of all the benefits and features of what you’re selling, first find out more about their interests, problems, and concerns. Later you will be more able to match them with the product that meets their needs.

2. Show Courtesy

Clients turn from a potential one-time sale to repeat customers when you treat them with respect. In sales, there is often intense pressure to close the deal, but if you see clients as a number, they will feel it.

Realize each person is an intelligent human. They aren’t likely to fall for your one-time offer if it isn’t really a good deal. They see through sales techniques because they’ve been exposed to them so many times before. Instead, learn their names and use them during the conversation. Ask them if you can share what matters to you and give them worthwhile information in exchange for their time.

3. Offer Value

sales coachWhen you hear someone could sell sawdust to a lumber mill, it means they are a good salesperson, but it’s almost an insult. It seems like trickery to sell someone things they don’t need. Effectiveness doesn’t necessarily rely on smooth talking or tricks.

If you sell ice, don’t go where the Eskimos are, take it to the beach. Identify where to locate customers who will find your product enjoyable or beneficial and offer it to them. Show how your item provides benefits that will make life easier, better, or more profitable. Don’t try to hide potential product shortcomings or claim your product will do something it won’t.

4. Have Patience

While technology has transformed the sales landscape, some parts of the sales process will always remain integral. To be effective, you’ll need to locate those in need of your products or services, find a way to establish contact, and determine how best to interact with them.

How your company continues from there varies and will require frequent adjustment between customers. Before you begin, make sure you understand the process and the reasoning behind each step. Learn how to spot your ideal customer, so you’re investing your time effectively.

If clients don’t immediately respond, don’t apply pressure or walk away in frustration. Find out why they seem apathetic and seek to better understand their current interests. It may take more time to gain their trust before they are willing to listen to you about how your offering solves their problems.

When your clients feel that you’re genuinely trying to help, they’ll respond to your concern. Build relationships daily, and you’ll create a base of contacts that lead to improved results.

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Why Sales Coaching Will Make You a Better Seller

what is sales coaching

Sales can be a tough business, especially if you’re not well acquainted with the practice. Often, entrepreneurs begin a business with a good idea, only to find they don’t know how to sell that idea to someone else. Given the fact that most businesses close rather than become successful, there is little margin for error. Hiring a sales coach can be a valuable tool that will provide a solid return on investment, instilling practices that will benefit you for years to come.

What Is a Sales Coach?

A sales coach is just what it sounds like: someone you hire to help you learn strategies to improve your company’s sales and gain new customers (all while retaining the customers you already have). If you don’t have a sales manager or your sales manager is too overloaded to take your new sales reps under their wing, you might want to hire a coach.

If you have your own sales department, you might be surprised to learn that 3 out of 4 salespeople aren’t effective at their jobs. The main reason is because they’ve received no formal education or training about how to sell.

sales coaching NJProfessional sales coaching differs from sales training. While training occurs in a classroom setting with a group of reps, coaching involves an individualized, one-on-one relationship. Sales training happens over a matter of weeks; sales coaching takes place over months.

Here’s an example: a sales training seminar might guide reps through a sales call or encourage workers to follow a script. What happens when a call goes off script? Your sales rep will be in a lurch.

A coach, on the other hand, may help reps prepare for calls by role-playing and anticipating the different turns a call might take. A sales coach also has the time to review the call with the rep and discuss strengths and weak spots. This individualized attention will make anyone more savvy with their sales, whether it’s members of a department or a solopreneur.

Choosing a Sales Coach

It’s important to remember that there are several different coaching styles. You should choose someone who aligns with your personal and business philosophies and goals. If your personalities don’t mesh in your initial meeting, you might not get as much out of your experience.

In short, sales coaching can take your business to the next level. If you want to improve your bottom line, garner more business, and make your sales team more effective employees, consider hiring a sales coach.

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Six Traits to Look For in a Good Sales Rep

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It’s Only Natural to Want the Best for Your Business.

It can be hard to determine just what that entails though, especially when you’re working with people. Sales representatives are a crucial part of your team, but how do you know if you’re hiring someone who will perform well? Turns out, the best sales reps consistently display the following traits:

1. Levelheadedness

Dealing with customers can be challenging and stressful. People treat sales reps poorly on a daily basis, and it takes a special kind of person to cope with that stress. Your team members need to think clearly and keep their cool no matter what the business brings. Choose candidates who consistently think fast.

2. Confidence

When a sales rep is self-conscious, it’s distracting and presents a poor image of your company. You want to choose individuals who don’t falter in the face of strangers. They should also be able to rebound quickly from difficult customers. There’s no room for bashfulness or inhibition on a top sales team.

3. Efficiency With Time

Sales representatives should be some of your boldest, most energetic employees. Never hire someone who’s lazy or uninvolved, or you could be wasting money with every shift. Find prospects who know how to divide their time intelligently, such as people who automate repetitive tasks as much as possible (like emailing and answering calls).

salesperson4. Memory

Your sales reps should be able to familiarize themselves with your products and services. They need to know features, applications, tips, and more. A rep has to be sharp-minded in order to keep up with the demands of a business.

5. Willingness to Learn

There will always be new technology to discover; there will always be new competition and adjustments to make. The best sales employees are not only able to adapt to the changing environment – they’re enthusiastic about it.

6. Persistence

Being part of a sales team takes tenacity. When you’re trusting your brand to these people, you want them to be dedicated. Eighty percent of sales take five follow-ups, but about half of all reps will stop after one. If you want to see maximum gains, you need a team that will keep pushing.

If you keep an eye out for these traits while choosing your sales team members, you’re sure to find the best possible candidates. Look for dedication, enthusiasm, and intelligence, and you’ll see the difference.

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Adopt These 6 Habits to Develop Strong Sales

Developing a successful career in sales requires certain skills.

Some individuals were born with sales skills — they intuitively understand human communication and how to close the deal. Other salespeople can enjoy the same level of success, but they need to develop certain skills, such as relationship-building, on-the-spot speaking, and how to keep the conversation positive.

Whether you’re in your first sales job or are a seasoned veteran, consider how these habits and practices might improve your performance on a daily basis:

Strong sales professionals spend most of their time on preparation. You need to know your pitch and your product or service inside and out. One of the most common pet peeves consumers and B2B purchasers have about working with sales professionals is their level of understanding.

If you don’t understand your lead, their needs, and your product, you cannot create a compelling sales argument. Take time to familiarize yourself with specifications, commonly asked questions, and any technical basics you might need to earn your prospect’s trust.

They remain true to themselves. Strong sales professionals remain authentic whether they’re selling something they love or something they hate. Use your life experience and perspective to help a lead make a decision, and focus on those qualities. Modern consumers are smart, and they typically know if a sales professional is not 100% behind his or her claim. True enthusiasm goes a long way.

They constantly analyze the sales cycle. Many modern sales professionals play a role in every step of a sales process, from marketing to retention activities. Break down your cycle into individual steps, then measure your effectiveness at each step. Do you lose leads during the nurturing phase, or do you have trouble closing the deal? If you know your weaknesses, you can take meaningful steps to improve.

They build and value personal relationships. Good sales relationships extend beyond the sale. Effective sales people constantly work to build their networks and maintain open lines of communications with potential leads, as well as others they can help and who can help them.

They put the customer first. In sales, listening is just as important (if not more important) than talking. If you can focus on the customer, understand his or her needs, and offer a value-added solution, you will win your lead’s trust and improve your ability to close the sale.

They know when to ask for help. When sales professionals have trouble maintaining productivity, they invest in the help they need to get back on track. Sales-coaching programs allow salespeople to work on their weaknesses, so they can improve skills such as relationship-building, setting up a sales strategy, or maintaining a positive mindset.

You have an opportunity to improve your sales skills during every conversation you have tomorrow. Incorporate these habits into your daily practices, seek help from a sales coach if you need it, and watch a successful career unfold. You’ve got what it takes to be great.

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The Best 6 Tips to Up Your Closing Rate

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Sometimes closing a deal is easy.

You connect really well with customers and they want what you have. However, every salesperson runs into a tough sell. Once you’ve vetted the customer as the right person to pursue, you may need to rely on some tricks up your sleeve to remove doubt and sell your case. Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  1. Always schedule a follow-up meeting. After every presentation, every phone call, and every other touch point, write your next follow up into a calendar. If you have it on the books, warm leads will never go cold.
  1. Don’t follow up unless you have something of value to offer. When you do follow up, you need to do it in the right way. Arm yourself with a valuable offering that meets your lead’s needs. If you can connect with your leads’ lifestyles and requirements, you can hit home by offering the value they’ll receive if they close with you. You don’t always have to offer a discount or promotion, although those do help. Look at the real value that your product or service will have in an individual’s, family’s, or business’s life. What outcome or experience will they have as a result of saying yes to the deal?
  1. Connect in multiple ways. Marketing and sales are all about diverse communication channels. A phone call can seem too pushy if your lead is lukewarm. An email or a quick social media message may appear more helpful and less intimidating. You want your lead to see you as a friend and a trusted counselor, not a pushy salesperson. Beware of using one mode of communication too heavily, however. You probably won’t close a deal over Facebook. Progress to a more appropriate medium as you get closer to the decision point.
  1. light-bulb-1002783_1280Ask the right questions. Whether you work in a retail environment known for quick sales or a relationship-driven sales environment, the right questions will improve your chance of making a sale. Instead of asking straightforward questions that are slightly elevated versions of “how are you?” and “what do you need?” try to engage the customer in your environment. Do you work on a car lot that happens to have one of the original vehicles from a famous movie? Find what makes your product, location, or service different so you can start a conversation instead of sticking to a script.
  1. Listen and research. You can’t just reach out and ask questions and expect a lead to pass over a credit card. Spend more time listening than talking right up until the close. Before you get on the phone, prepare answers to some of the most common objections. If you sound knowledgeable and empathize with your lead, you will earn trust and discover the direction you should use to finalize the deal.
  1. Know when to stop. If you know someone isn’t ready to make a purchase right now, don’t write him or her off. Ask if you can stay in touch, and respect your lead’s decision. Your time is most effectively spent on leads willing to stay in the game.

 Leads will give you all of the clues you need to piece together the right offer. Your job is to stay in the moment, listen, and give them a reason why they can’t say no.

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How to Optimize Your Talents with a Sales Career Coach


Make Good Skills Great With a Sales Career Coach

Every business needs at least one good salesperson. However, no matter how great your current sales skills are, there is always room for improvement. If you would like to add to your skills or if your sales are floundering because you aren’t sure how to improve them, you need a sales career coach. Sales career coaches help salespeople across industries optimize their talents and make their businesses forerunners in their fields. With the right coach, you can become the salesperson you always wanted to be.

Advantages of Sales Career Coaching

One-on-One Time

Your supervisor and coworkers can give you plenty of tips on how to improve your sales skills and career trajectory. However, they all have other people to help besides you, and they’re all working on their own careers. Sales coaches don’t have those demands on their time. They can give you a one-on-one analysis of what you’re doing well, what needs work, and how you can implement creativity and personalization when you need to. Additionally, the sales coach will remain with you while you are developing your new skills. He or she won’t have to rush off to answer the next question or attend a meeting at the last minute.

Performance Coaching

Good sales coaches don’t simply help you sell products and services. They look at who you are as a person and teach you to use your personality to your advantage. For example, you might have a deep-seated fear of public speaking even though you make great sales in small groups or one-on-one. A good sales coach will understand your introversion and make it work for you, not against you. Depending on your need, he or she will develop personalized coping skills that allow you to overcome what might be holding you back.

Getting Out of a Slump

lightbulbEven the best salespeople hit a slump now and then. It might seem for them that suddenly none of their methods work and no products are moving, which leads to discouragement and burnout. Slumps often happen when you get in a rut, doing the same thing over and over and getting the same results or no results at all.

The best career coaches are pros at getting employers and employees alike out of slumps. They will analyze your current position and let you know when and if you are ready to take on a larger role. They can also suggest ways to make your job more exciting and creative and offer new methods to move products and services.

How to Optimize Your Coaching Experience

Be Honest

Your sales coach can’t fix a problem if he or she doesn’t know what it is. Remember, having a coach is not a sign of failure. It’s a sign of strength and willingness to reach out for help. It’s also a sign that you’re dedicated to making your business stronger.

Ask Questions

Your elementary school teachers were right – there is no such thing as a dumb question. Ask your coach about any situation in which you find yourself, big or small. Talk to him or her about the methods you’ve used and has worked for you in the past. A good coach can always find ways to improve or suggest something new.

LEARN MORE about sales coaching – CLICK HERE!

5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Working With a Sales Career Coach

Want to Make the Most of Your Sales Career Coach Investment?

sales-coachWorking with a sales career coach can have major benefits, such as generating greater revenues and building a larger network. To get the most out of your sales career coach investment, you need to understand the ins and outs of career coaching and what your job is as a student.

Find a Coach With a Following

Whether you need to build confidence in public speaking, craft a killer opening statement, or boost your networking skills, the sales career coach you choose makes all the difference. Your coach needs to have the experience and results to back up his or her claims. Scope out potential coaches’ websites, looking for awards or client testimonials to gauge the effectiveness of their methods. The best sales career coaches sell you on their talents—a major testament to their skill.

Choose the Right Coach for You

When choosing a sales career coach, you need to decide what matters most to you. If your top priority is learning how to create a top-notch sales presentation, you need a coach who will tailor your lessons to that goal. Making sure you and your sales career coach are on the same page will ensure you don’t waste time focusing on areas of sales you aren’t interested in and maximize your investment with relevant information. Establish what your end goals are, and find a coach with expertise in that field.

Optimize Communication

An experienced sales career coach will offer a variety of ways to communicate with him or her, including via Skype, face-to-face, or over the phone. If a coach limits you to just one form of communication, it may be a sign that he or she has too many other commitments to give you full attention. Establish what mode of communication works best for you early on (even before the first meeting), and be transparent with your needs. Your coach can’t effectively help you if you hide your requirements.

Ask the Right Questions

ask-questionsIf you don’t have a specific goal in mind while working with a sales career coach, that’s okay. You can still come prepared by thinking of questions that will point you in the right direction, such as “How do I become a better salesperson?” Your career coach will have a plethora of resources to help you nail down what your greatest strengths and weaknesses are and construct a lesson plan moving forward. Clarifying your needs and articulating them in a way that will get results is imperative for using your time efficiently.

Take Notes

Being a good student is the best way to optimize the knowledge of your sales career coach. Your coach might lay the groundwork for a stellar future in sales, but if you aren’t paying attention, the advice is lost. During every facet of your coaching, take detailed notes to use in the future. You can type into a Word document for faster note taking and create a folder online to organize them. Writing down the steps, observations, insights, and other details for success ensures you get the most out of your coach.

Have you heard about my Breakthrough Career Coaching Program? CLICK HERE to learn more!

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