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Top 10 sales whines get better with age

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Why do salespeople whine? Why do they whine about the same things? “The guy wouldn’t return my call.” HUGE whine. One of the biggest.

Why the complaint? I could offer 20 reasons, but the answer is this: The voice mail you left sucked. No reason to call back.

You just sent a proposal. Three days later, you call the prospect and say: “Hi Bill this is Mary. I sent you a proposal a few days ago. I’m calling to see if you had any questions.” Pathetic. Does the prospect have ANY real reason to call you back?

You don’t care if he has any questions. You just want the money. “Bill, this is Mary. I sent you a proposal, and I was calling to see if the money’s ready yet. Can I come over and get it? Is it ready?” At least now you’re being truthful. Think it’s outrageous? You’re right. It is. But it beats what you’re doing.

I ask salespeople for information about themselves and their abilities before I do a seminar for their organization. I ask 16 questions to give me a feel for their present situation and skill set.

Each year, I receive thousands of questionnaires. I’ve been doing it for 10 years. And guess what? They’re all the same. Well, not exactly the same. Some have long answers. The answers on others are short. A few are insightful. Most are not. Most are whines.

They’re predictable. Men with 15 years or more experience tend to give one-word answers, as though they can’t be bothered, because they already know everything. Some women want to take the opportunity to tell their life story.

Why do I keep asking for them? First, I have to know about the people I’m talking to. And I keep hoping that America’s sales force will change. No luck so far.

I ask a question about the “biggest objection” they face. What do you think the biggest one is? Price. Correct. I ask why their customers leave. “Service,” they say. I ask why customers stay. “Service,” they respond.

What’s wrong with that picture?

What’s the biggest internal concern? Communication.

What do they want to improve? Eighty percent say time management.

So what are you whining about?

Slow sales? That one’s easy. Work longer hours. Boost your networking and become better positioned.

Every salesperson knows the answer. Even you. They just don’t do it.

Here’s an easy formula I guarantee will work: Hard work. These days, make that damn hard work.

There is a better answer. Strive for the relationship. Help your customers. Some of them are hurting, too.

This year, I have focused even harder on my sales philosophy of giving value first. The more I help my customers, the more sales I make. It’s not rocket science.

To be more specific, I have focused this year on my Internet magazine Sales Caffeine. It’s published once a week, and it’s loaded with value. Best of all, it’s free. In it are sales lessons, ideas and tips that enable salespeople (my customers) to make more sales. The result? I’m making more sales.

Here’s a piece of wisdom that escapes most people: Instead of concentrating on your problems (your whines), focus instead on helping others. Help tends to be reciprocal. That’s been the case for me.

Support and encourage your customers and give them the answers they’re seeking. The results will be staggering for everyone.

Here’s what I want you to do. Go to www.gitomer.com right now. Subscribe to Sales Caffeine. It’s real easy. Enter your name and e-mail address, hit the “submit” button, and you’re done. An issue will appear in your inbox.

Don’t just read it. Study it as an example of what you can do. Sales Caffeine doesn’t cost much and yet is highly effective, especially to a targeted audience.

Free teleseminar on how to do an e-zine: We will be holding a free teleseminar on how to do a company e-zine that creates value for your customers and prospects. If you would like to reserve a space, e-mail laura@gitomer.com.

President of Charlotte, N.C.-based Buy Gitomer, Jeffrey Gitomer gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts Internet training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at (704) 333-1112 or by e-mail at salesman@gitomer.com.

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