How deliberate practice can improve your sales skills

Contrary to popular belief, with a few exceptions, “experts” aren’t people who have natural abilities in a particular domain. Rather, experts practice deliberately. Deliberate practice as it relates to the guitar, is when you do this: Identify a section of the song you’re struggling with. This could be 2 bars, 1 bar or even a few notes. Watch your fingers …

How to negotiate: outcomes vs. outputs

A client recently asked if they could switch payment terms to net 30 (we get paid before we ship).  That’s risky because we could ship a bunch of physical products and not get paid.  Further, this is a new client so we don’t have history with them.  To make things even more risky, they’re a startup. Here’s the client: “Would you also be able to extend our …

Why deals stall & how to get a response

You’ve been there. You had a great meeting. You have a next meeting scheduled. Then you follow up and never hear back. Your prospect disappears. There are four reasons why deals stall: 1. Your prospect hasn’t said why they want to change You assume that when prospects agree to meet with you they want to change. But your prospect might …

How to get referrals without feeling “icky”

Asking for referrals can sometimes feel “icky”.Here’s why.You delivered something that helps your client do something better. In exchange, your client gave you money. So there’s a balance. You “gave” a thing that helps your client be more awesome. And in return you “got” money. Download the “non-icky” referral email template But when you ask for a referral, you’re “getting” …

How to use cold email to validate your idea

Early stage startups typically need to determine who their idea customer is and whether their product or service addresses a need.  In order to accelerate that process try this: Search LinkedIn for contacts at companies you think you can serve Use hunter.io, salestool.io or leadgibbon to find their email addresses Send an email like the one below Use rebump.cc to automatically “nudge” a response …

This question cost me a $125,000 sale

I once asked a question that cost me a $125,000 sale. This is actually a true story, but not the takeaway I hope you get from this blog post. Like most enterprise deals this had been an exercise in patience. After 3 months we were finally able to check all the sales qualification boxes: Do they admit they have a …

An effective cold call script you can learn in 45 seconds

I recently downloaded a cold call script that was 5 pages long. The were all sorts of psychological tricks like “pattern interrupts” aimed at persuading people to schedule a meeting. It was complicated. Difficult to master. And felt “icky”. Cold calling doesn’t need to be so complicated or slimy. And you don’t need to read a 120 page book on …

Don’t ever ask this question again

May 2014. I was in the market for a tool that would help the sales team increase call volume and turn more conversations with prospects into meetings. A quick Google search led me to a vendor who had lots of content aimed at making me smarter about my problem and the options for solving it. So I submitted my contact details in exchange for an e-book. 20 …