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58% of sales meetings are not valuable to buyers

In a recent post, I shared research showing that 82% of B2B decision-makers consider commercial salespersons to be unprepared. I speculated (with confidence based on almost 30 years coaching lawyers) that lawyers might not fare even that well on the “prepared” scale. Yes, it’s that bad.

Amateurs v. Professionals

When you market and sell, are you an amateur or a professional? Here are four key differences between the amateur salesperson and the professional.

How big is your sales force?

If you’re the only one doing the selling for your practice, and only for three hours per week, it will take a while for you as a solo salesperson to produce what you want. You need a larger (virtual) sales force. Let me explain.

It's not about making a deal

Do you think (and fear) that you need a whole new set of skills for business development? Relax. You already have all the skills you need: your "lawyering" skills. You just need to apply them to marketing and selling.

The "Earn the Right to Advance" Sequence

How fast should you try to move the sale along? How aggressive should you be? How long should you wait before recontacting the prospect you met with? These are the questions that comprised a high percentage of the coaching calls I fielded from lawyers over the past 20-odd years. Here's how to answer them.

Beware of sales shortcuts

Just because you come "pre-screened" by a referral, don't assume that you can take a shortcut and coast into the engagement. Stick with a disciplined investigation and help your prospect make a good decision. If nothing else, it will reflect well on your referral source.

Focus on the right sales data

Discuss the prospect's problem in great depth; prematurely moving to a solution discussion creates barriers to buyers’ engagement.

Ready, needful and willing

Identifying business need is the anchor of traditional sales strategy. Now, "readiness" and "willingness" are more important.

A primer on questioning

In business development, artful questioning means not only well-crafted questions, but a conversational flow that keeps the prospect focused.

Selling with integrity

Integrity in selling means subordinating your interests to the client's by helping them make a sound, self-interested decision.

Sales Killers, part 2

Achieving better sales results requires that you avoid these "sales killers."

Sales Killers, part 1

What keeps good salespeople from achieving better results has little to do with technique or what you sell. Learn to spot these "sales killers."

Cross-selling simplified

Cross-selling is "selling squared," i.e., to sell anything to the client, first you must sell the relationship partner on granting you access.

Loyalty: Insider vs. outsider

Loyalty cuts both ways. Insiders want clients to be loyal. Outsiders must show prospects other forms of loyalty, e.g., to employees, investors, etc.