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Sales Strategy

Sometimes, its OK to be the grasshopper

I’ve been doing sales for startups for 20 years now.  In this time, I’ve learned quite a bit about how to make sales happen.  In particular, I’ve learned a lot about how NOT to do something, and also how to read situations well so that I can come to win-win solutions.

Sometimes, I’ve learned these lessons through failing and picking myself up again.

Other times, I’ve learned from talking to people more experienced than me.  My sales mentor has been an incredible resource to me.

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Your Sales Manager is a TOOL

There is a big difference between being a salesperson and being a person in sales. What actually makes you a salesperson instead of just a person in sales? You CLOSE deals.

A true salesperson does what needs to be done to get the deal done. Sometimes that means sweetening the offer. Sometimes it means dropping the price. Sometimes it means explaining the benefits better, or comparing yourself against the alternatives. But a good salesperson always figures out whats holding up a deal and then looks for ways to overcome that obstacle/objection and get the deal done.

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Sales Lessons from the Grand Bazaar

One of the nicest things about being in sales is getting to travel to interesting places that you probably wouldn’t go to normally.  In my career, I’ve seen nearly the entire US and several countries.  Last week, I got the opportunity to travel to Istanbul and it was an amazing experience.  I am very intriqued by historic sites, and in particular the events that shaped the world we live in today, but actually planning a trip to Turkey wasn’t high on my list.  My family would much rather travel to more relaxed and vacation sites that require less thinking.  And… as a salesperson that travels, we are often at the mercy of where our families want to go when we do get fun travel.

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The Murder Board

The essential but horrible sounding named murder board.  Every time I bring it up with a new person, I get confused stares – yet I think its an essential tool for both salespeople and entrepreneurs.

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Open Letter to anyone buying (or actually not buying) anything from a salesperson

Dear Prospect,

Good salespeople build their entire career based on one of integrity.  We believe, that every step of the way, we should be open and honest with you about our product, about its limitations, about how and where we are better and worse than our competition.  We even try to be completely transparent and honest with you about our sales process so that we can start our relationship on the right footing.

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Would you buy your own product that way?

Everyone buys things… and everyone has opinions on where they like to buy, how they like to buy, and what makes them buy?  Why then… do so many companies forget these experiences when they plan out their own sales strategy and pricing models?

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Your start-up sales strategy must include an up-sell

Up-selling, despite what some people believe, is not a sneaky or dishonest sales strategy.  In fact is is an essential strategy for start-ups.  I do, however, understand, how many people can see it this way.

At the bagel store near my house, a bagel costs $0.49.  Yet, order that bagel with $0.03 worth of butter, and the bagel is suddenly $1.69.  Why does the store do this?  Because its great to advertise bagels that cost only $0.49, but who comes into the store and only orders 1 bagel with nothing on it?  The upsell is the critical method of driving profit into the store.

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The Top 5 tips for new salespeople

Recently, I replied to a HARO request for the top 5 lessons for a new sales rep.  Happily, one of my items was selected for the article.  (Yes, the article is referring to an idea from me despite the fact that my name is massacred <grin> ).    The resulting list that author, Brandon Mendelson, compiled is actually quite good and I’m honored to be one of the items in his list.   I decided to post my entire top 5 here and provide links to my old articles that explain them in more detail:

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