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Location: Sparks, Nevada, United States

Todd is a manager in the technology field with qualifications in data networking, voice over IP telephony, technical sales, blogging, and marketing, both print and electronic.

Staying Ahead in the Sales Game

Never Taking No for an Answer


Learn to Love Objections

I Need Your Help

What Makes You Uncomfortable?

Ask More Questions

The Power of Positive Visualization

Welcome Fellow Closers

June 2006 August 2006 May 2007

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Thursday, June 29, 2006
What Makes You Uncomfortable?
It is my firm belief that the difference between being average and being great is a willingness to do the things that make you uncomfortable. Average ordinary people avoid the things that make them uncomfortable. Successful people attack those things.

I make about fifty phone calls every day. There are always a few of them that make me squirm. People that were rude or gruff, or for whatever reason, I just don't want to make those calls. I make those calls first. Not quite first, but in the first, say five calls. I pick up the phone and make a couple of easy calls first. People I know will be happy to hear from me or maybe don't usually pick up the phone. Those first couple get me loosened up. Then it is right into whatever call I fear the most. I keep scrolling through my calls and stopping on the ones that make my heart rate jump. As soon as I get that feeling, I make that call. I keep doing that until my heart rate stays even as I view all of my calls.

You see, I used to pass those phone calls up. Usually until I had no choice but to make them. What would happen is every time I would scroll past those calls, my anxiety level would step up a notch. I would spend the entire day getting more anxious and riddled with fear. Then, when I couldn't wait any longer, I would make those calls. The funny thing was, once those calls were done, I had an incredible feeling of relief.

Then one day, I remember my own saying. I starting making those calls first. Now I make it through the day with very little anxiety and my sales are climbing. It is amazing what a huge difference a little adjustment can make.

So, what makes you uncomfortable?
Monday, June 26, 2006
Ask More Questions
It doesn't matter what you are selling or how long you have been doing it, if you want to increase your closing ratio, ask more questions. You should do this anywhere in the selling process. Here is a great example of what not to do.

We recently had a sales guy walk out because he just wasn't cut out for sales. Since he walked out, two of us split his old accounts (thanks!). He had one account that he had been touting for quite some time as whale. Today our other salesman called that account only to find out there is no opportunity there. They source all of their equipment through a company with which we already have an account. He had been calling on this account for months and never asked if there was an opportunity there.

You must ask questions to qualify your prospect.

I see so many sales people go into a presentation and talk for sometimes an hour or more without stopping. Then they start their fact finding. You should be fact finding throughout your entire presentation. Nobody has an attention span to listen to every word you say for an hour. I once read that the average person could listen for only about two minutes without being engaged. Try to develop a timer that goes off in your head every two minutes that reminds you to ask a question. If you don't have a good one, I like "Does that make sense?". This will not only pull your prospect back in, but will also make sure you have not lost your prospect. Most people will not stop you to tell you they don't understand. There is nothing worse than talking for an hour only to find out you lost your prospect fifty five minutes ago. A word of caution though, if you ask "Does that make sense?" every two minutes, your prospect will want to choke you.

Set your two minute question timer.

I recently sat in on a role playing training with a gentleman who has been selling for twenty years. He was teaching the training and he was having people throw objections at him. For every objection, he had an answer. Immediately. This is fundamentally wrong.

There are two types of people when it comes to problems. There are problem oriented people and solution oriented people. Most of the population is problem oriented. These are the people who find a problem, stress about it, tell the whole world about the problem they are having, and allow that problem to be a barrier. As you can guess, these are not usually the successful people. As a professional salesperson, you must be a solution oriented person. You hold the solution to someone else's problem. Here is where the breakdown begins.

When a prospect throws an objection (problem) at you, it is very real to them and it may be a very big deal to them. When you slap the answer right back at them, it really doesn't matter how right you are. That prospect is now on the defensive. Handling an objection is like peeling an onion. You must keep peeling away layers until you get to the real objection. You do that by asking questions.

One of the many seminars I have attended was put on by Blair Singer. He is a phenomenal trainer, and he says you should ask five questions before you handle their objections. This is tough, but if you even get to three questions, chances are you will knock that rebuttal clean out of the park. Many times, they will talk themselves out of their objection before you get to five questions.

You must ask questions to handle objections.

The last place you want to ask question is when closing. That is a topic all in itself.
The Power of Positive Visualization

The power of visualization is limitless. The amazing, untapped secret of the mind is that it pulls you towards the person that you picture. The best source on this is Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill. This power works not only to gain wealth, but obtain any goal you seek.

For as long as I can remember, I have had an interest in politics. The problem is an interest is nothing more than that, an interest. People have interests their whole live that never become more than an interest. The true power is in developing what Mr. Hill calls a burning desire. Call it what you want, but when that interest begins to consume your every thought and action, when it wakes you up at night, you are on your way to realizing your goal. There are several components in creating a burning desire. I am only going to talk about one component today. Belief.

You must believe, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that you are capable of achieving your goal. You see most of my life, I wanted to be in politics, and I thought it would be great, but I didn't believe. As my time in studying success goes on, my belief in myself grows every day. That growing belief made me certain I could do what I had seen others do. Within weeks of making my political ambitions public, I was asked to become a director of NICPAC, a conservative political action committee. I now lead a grass roots organization that is changing the face of conservative politics in the great state of Nevada.

Why am I telling you about my accomplishments in politics? It is by no means to brag. I was not born special in any way. I was born with special talents and abilities, just like each and every one of you. So I tell you these stories to help you visualize the types of things of which you are capable. Ordinary people with an extraordinary desire are capable of amazing things. But this blog is about sales. What does politics have to do with sales? In my opinion, it is the ultimate sale. There are no technical details, no warranty, and no price to haggle. You are the product. Your views and your opinions. Nothing tangible. That's what politics have to do with sales.

So now you understand the first step. You must have a belief in yourself that you can accomplish anything. Once you believe, you will feel that desire begin to engulf you. I will talk about how to develop that belief in a latter discussion.

Thursday, June 22, 2006
Welcome Fellow Closers
Thanking for visiting my blog. It is my sincere hope that the site can be an asset to all who visit it. It is often said that the best way to learn something is to teach it. I have been selling for a little over three years now and I am addicted to it.

For the first portion of my working life I sought stability and a guaranteed paycheck. One day, having been out of a job for quite some time, I ended up at an interview to sell vacuum cleaners. I had no desire to take the position. In my opinion, sales people ranked just below pond scum. Salespeople were shifty, crooked people that couldn't get a real job. Nevertheless, I needed the job because I needed the money.

I hit the streets and started selling. I found out by just doing what I was told, and not trying to re-invent the wheel, I could sell. Not only could I sell, but I could make money doing it.

After about two months of that, I was offered a comfortable, hourly paid j.o.b.(just over broke). I took it and took it quickly. The last thing my sales manager said to me was "You'll regret this. It may not be tomorrow, and I don't know where you'll be, but you'll regret this." He was halfway right.It took about two years for me to go crazy in the world of steady paychecks, I had to get back into selling, but this time not in vacuum cleaners. That's how my addiction started.