What is B2B Sales?

Recently, I realized that not every one knows what is meant by the term B2B sales. So, today’s post is focused upon explaining this term. B2B Sales is short for Business to Business Sales. Business to business sales definition? Means sales to a business or b2b rather than selling to a consumer – the end … Read more…

Discussing Competitor’s by Name is a No-No

Okay, before you think that I have gone off the deep end without a breath of air, let me explain this title. Discussing Competitor’s by Name is a No-No is a fact of sales life.

First, it is a mistake for you – the salesperson – to bring up the name of a competitor during discussions with a customer or prospect. Why? Because the customer or prospect may not be aware of this competitor until you tell them.

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Confidence Makes It All Work for You

This is the final step in becoming a sales superstar. Actually, the real question is: “Is Confidence really the First step rather than tenth?” There are several reason for Confidence being the first step and like wise there are several reasons it is the tenth. No matter which side of the debate you are on – Confidence is the lead element in your ultimate success.

First let’s look at the reason it could be first on the 10 step list. Confidence in yourself is the key for wanting to achieve anything in life. It is the foundation used to set believable goals and expectations for things you can do and achieve during your life. It gives you the willpower to start new things and expect positive results. The “You Can Do It!” mental attitude takes the front stage of your mind and drives you forward – even during times of stress or adversity (like the economic conditions of today!).

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Practice Makes Sales People into Sales Stars

This ninth step is a bit different from the first eight, however, it is no less important. The actual step is:

“Practice, Practice and Practice some more.”

Most sales people look at this statement and say things like – “That’s not important.” ; “Situations never go the way a role play does!” or “I don’t have time to practice – I need to sell more!” DUH! These people don’t get it and it’s a terrible mistake. Practice makes things better, smoother and more natural. Let me discuss a few advantages and methods for getting sure fired results from PRACTICE.

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Think Like An Owner for Sales Success

This is the one step that could be titled “Think like an Owner” “Coordinating Results” or “Customer Satisfaction Goals”. There are important information and processes to follow with each of the three titles. Yet, I choose the Think like an Owner because it encompasses all three.

So what does “Think Like an Owner” really mean? An owner is fully committed to their business. The Owner has to balance all the functional areas of the company to get the best results. An Owner depends upon their customers to stay in business. And, decisions must be made for the overall good rather than personal agenda. All of these factors are supported by the superstar sales people.

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Listening the Other Number One Skill in Selling

Closely related to the Questioning skill is the ability to actively listen to everything being said and also what is not being openly said. The key for the sales person is to focus on the customer when the customer is talking and particularly when answering questions presented by the sales person. The number one flaw with aggressive sales people is they are too busy thinking about what they will say next, mentally rehearsing the script plan or just plain thinking about other things unrelated to moment.

Sales Superstars take the proactive listening skill to the next level – giving them a competitive advantage and greater trust with their customers. There are several reasons to improve our listening skills:

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Number One Skill in B2B Sales is Questioning

To join the ranks of Sales Superstar, You must learn to ask Questions – early, often and late. I realize that some of you believe the early, often and late is about closing the sales – sorry, that is old school selling! Today’s superstar sales person masters this skill and uses it to gain a competitive advantage.

The big issue is this – the average sales person has a tendency to talk too much in a sales situation. Yes, they talk too much and actually bore or confuse the customer. Why? Because the customer also has an opinion about how things are going and what is important to them. Remember this:

“The Customer Will Believe Their Thoughts over Your Statements!”

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B2B Sales Stars Get Industry Knowledge

The fourth step to becoming a B2B sales superstar is having superior Industry Knowledge. Again, the top sales people understand this and use it as an advantage against the average sales competitor. I have seen many of the top sales people use this resource of knowledge to out flank a competitor or to show a customer or prospect a better method to improve performance – using their knowledge of the industry.

There are several reasons that a sales person should master industry knowledge particularly in the world of B2B sales. The four biggest reasons are:

Creativity – using their industry knowledge to make valuable suggestions to customers.
Methodology – understanding the different types of methodologies used by customers.
Jargon – understanding industry jargon implies experience in the industry with the customer.
Trends – the ability to understand business cycles, trends in the industry and segmentation.

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B2B Sales Superstars Take Time to Prepare

The third step in the ten steps to becoming a Sales Superstar is Preparedness. The best salespeople are always prepared – like the boy scout motto. What is so important about preparedness? It shows the customer that you are ready to talk about important things rather than the typical push the sales agenda on the customer.

There are two primary issues covered by being prepared. The first is to have a call plan. The second is to do your research on a customer BEFORE arriving at their office.

I know you have heard all about call plans. I have also heard all the excuses as to why most salespeople do not use call plans. Things like: It takes to much time; the call never goes like the plan – so why make one; the only reason I’m asked to do it is for my micro-managing boss; and the call never goes the way I plan it so why bother? These quotes usually come from the bottom 80% of sales people – not the top 20% and never come from the sales superstars that I’ve worked with during the years.

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